Years: 1989 - Present
Notable works: Stickers
In 1989, Fairey began printing André the Giant stickers at the Kinkos in Providence. He a crew of cohorts—namely Ryan Lesser, Michael Meinhart, Blaize Blouin, Alfred Hawkins, and Mike Mongo—began printing and distributing the stickers. They were Xeroxed, hand-silkscreened pieces that began appearing all over the East Coast, gaining widespread attention. Fairey told to multiple media outlets that the success of the image was a happy accident. But it would lead Fairey on his path to using repeating imagery and familiar motifs in all his work, calling it an exercise in phenomenology.
"The reason Andre works," Fairey told the Boston Phoenix in 1995, "is that it has no agenda. And who decided that public spaces were more attractive without any visual noise? All I've tried to do —like Warhol—make the run of the mill into an icon." That same Phoenix article estimated that, by 1996, more than 600,000 of the stickers had placed on surfaces throughout the nation and the world, included one on Jim Morrison's grave in France.