“Writing On The Wall” Art Print by Shepard Fairey (Onsale Info)

Hmm, interested to read the reaction in the comments on this one.  Shepard Fairey’s “Writing On The Wall” is an 18″ x 24″ screenprint in two colorways (each with an edition of 300), and will be $45.  It goes up tomorrow (Thursday, January 28th) at a random time.  Visit ObeyGiant.com.

96 Responses to ““Writing On The Wall” Art Print by Shepard Fairey (Onsale Info)”

  1. That’s easy – I think it’s dull and a bit ugly.

  2. The Feet, the tacked on surveillance camera

    Come in Fairey your time is up…..

  3. This one is pretty bad. It could have been a good concept… but turned out ugly.

  4. pass.

  5. What is up with the face?

  6. Looks like a young Rod Stewart :)

  7. I agree with j4prez, this had potential (likely at concept), but bombed miserably. I bought “Your Eyes Here” but I won’t be trying for this one…. This makes Jessica look good.

    What’s with the ‘Red/Cream’ Versions lately?

  8. Is he even trying anymore?


  10. WOW – and not in a good way

  11. pass

  12. looks more like a french beatnik hipster.

    i liked it way more when Fairey stole other people’s photographs and tweeked them to make it his own. this is just horrible… although it looks like someone had fun with the spraypaint can in MSPaint!

  13. Fail, imo. all these sissy prints coming out by Mr. Fairey are weak-sauce.

  14. It’s been popping up in places in his work for a while now, but this whole print just seems like plain laziness. Bummer.

  15. i’m glad to see the hype wearing off…this just shows what poor composition he has.

  16. Not that it matters…is that a guy or a girl?

  17. I made a better piece of art this morning in my toilet bowl!

    I would not wipe my ass with this print…..

  18. We’re witnessing a middle-aged man trying to produce work with “street” edge and failing miserably.

  19. yea!!! gonna save money this week,
    this weeks Obey funds will go toward that Peace Tree or Sunsets that I’ve been ISO.

  20. Ironic…

  21. I wonder what he thinks of this, does he say to himself, meh, whatever, they all cant be homeruns and then thinks to himself some schmuck will buy it anyway, PRINT IT DANNO! Or is satisfied and cares less what others think, would love to be a fly on the wall for some of these prints

  22. The cream colorway comes across a bit better than the red version. The placement of the feet makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, it doesn’t seem to fit naturally with the facial reaction.

    It’s as if the face is showing confidence but the feet are showing insecurity. And the graffiti text is horrid. Can’t an artist show a little more style with the text? Especially when a bulk of Fairey’s work focuses on urban art.

  23. what in the hell am i looking at? the feet… seriously? did he do the background in paint using the airbrush tool?

  24. Sorry but the message is weak, the execution is weak and the picture as a whole I would not want on my wall.

    I don’t understand how he could sign off on these pieces but hell he’s a lot more famous and talented than I am so he has the right.

  25. Its the Feet !
    The feet are fricking annoying – He’s trying to look super coy and edgy and instead he looks like a window licker.

  26. just when i thought things couldn’t get any worse he releases this. what a shame looks like it was put together in MS Paint.

  27. might get a passing grade in a high school art class….maybe!!

  28. Holy shit — it’s a god damn hate storm in here. 22 posts in and every single one of them resoundingly negative. GO TEAM!

  29. I would lean towards that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass what other people think and does not seek their approval. Do you think he went around asking folks if they thought it was a good idea to embark on the campaign that he embarked on in ’89?

  30. At this point I think it’s pretty clear Shep is taking an Andy Kaufman style approach to his “art”. You’re either in on the joke or you are the joke. Right?….
    If not then wow…. just wow.

  31. uh….

    same old story..I think he’s 1 for 10..monk=good and maybe a few others.
    DONT BUY IT!!….

    for the obey-crackheads: your portfolio will not have a huge gap if you are missing a couple of prints….

    shepard should just ask for donations to his legal fund. instead of pumping out sh*t to support his defense team.

    don’t buy this cr*p….this site and many others show what IS “really, really good high quality, put some thought into it ART.”

    .02 as usual

  32. Mr. TOOL.,…and I would lean towards, not giving a rats ass what Shepard thinks about “lil unknown ME”. IMO, his prints arent worth the thousands of dollars, they fetch, from the wretched demons on Ebola. i own ONE of his prints, so dont tell me i dont know shit about him. its a free country with free speech. my 3 yr old niece couldve come up with a better idea.

    1989 was a LONG time ago boss. Speed on, or get Peed on.

  33. Lemme just say something.. Hipsters dont write graffiti. Especially in front of a camera, they dont tend to do stuff that would succumb them to potential arrest or jailtime. They are way too busy fixing their hair, putting on makeup, and fitting into really tight jeans..

    Renegades write grafitti (like shep used to be).. People with a message, or people who just wanna break the law. Either way your making a statement (even if its a bad one).

    The things that bother me the most are the feet, and the eyebrow!! ugghh!! the eyebrow pisses me off!!

    The message is lost here, if the writing is on the wall, why would this guy be the one to deliver us that message? Im starting to wonder if shep himself is losing the messages he wants to send with his poorly crafted images of late.

    Zack de la Rocha already said it best: (in settle for nothing)

    Read my writing on the wall
    No-one’s here to catch me when I fall
    If ignorance is bliss, then knock the smile off my face

  34. I think an intern is doing his work for him. He kinda baffles me.


  36. i just like reading the admin’s passive aggressiveness when he’s afraid to criticize a Fairey print

  37. Alright. I agree with some of these comments and others…not so much. I think if you are going to give some criticism on a print, it should be constructive and illustrate why you dislike it. (Aesthetic, Colors, Material, Subject Matter or Typography.) Some people have done this, so if Shep or some of Shep’s people saw this they could have something to build/improve on.

    Saying your shit is better than this print or your niece could do better, says nothing. Explain to us why you feel your niece does better work than Shep or why, aesthetically your shit looks better than this print.

    In the end, Shepard has always said he has a “Punk Rock” attitude and always will. With age that may start to mellow slightly, but I am willing to bet that he is sticking to the Sid Vicious – I Don’t Give A F**K mentality.

    Also, watch some videos on Shep, I bet he has some interns that do some digital retouches and file prep for him…you see them in the back round in most studio visits.

    Personally, I don’t like this because it seems a bit too minimal, I like all the pattern stuff he does in back rounds. I also would choose another typeface or hand draw the letters with a marker or mop.

    But hey, he has the closing show at Deitch and I don’t…so who am I?

  38. Look, if Brainwash can get paid without even trying, why should Shep bother to do all that collage and spraypainting and stuff? If he keeps this up he can lay off his Factory and fart these out and make even more cash.

    You people buy this. This is what you’ve wrought.

  39. someone should start an on-line petition demanding that shepard fairey produces only good prints from now on…who’s going to start it?

  40. http://www.petitiononline.com/create_petition.html

  41. Not to pile on, but . . . weak cheese. VERY weak cheese. Packs no punch whatsoever, on any level that I’m tuned in to. It’s a big world, this will no doubt find it’s audience. But I’m not on board for this one.

  42. why does only one print have a camera in it?

  43. One print is for paranoids and the other for exhibitionists. I don’t even get a message from this. It only hints at a Magritte style of “writing” being literally on the wall. Yet this is masked by an androgynous whiner. Is Shep mocking this person who is facing away from the “writing?” I am not sure and this is the main reason that I don’t like it. If he is doing that then I REALLY don’t like it. A piece of art should evoke some idea or perception, real or imagined, comforting or disconcerting. If the effect is more ambiguous than meaningful, it becomes self-referential and nihilistic. That’s my soapbox.

  44. For the record, I do not like this print.

    I simply care not for the dude’s expression nor do I care for his attire. His posture also leaves something to be desired.

  45. Lots of hate on this one. It’s like they say ‘They build a bridge in your name one year and then throw you off it the next’

  46. Straighten the feet
    Shave the eyebrows
    Drop the 1980’s beret
    Realize punk died in 1977
    Remove the MSpaintshop writing
    and I still don’t like it.

  47. “if you are going to give some criticism on a print, it should be constructive and illustrate why you dislike it.”

    Why? Who are you to tell us how we should respond? This print sucks. It is terrible. I think saying an intern did it is really slapping those poor kids in the face. There is no way if I was interning I would produce this quality of work. I think shep has lost it and really should let his interns do the work.

  48. sorry. I was chastized for not being constructive with the first post. To explain – it’s colour scheme looks like a pensioner’s wallpaper selection, the focal character is ugly, and looks like a pretentious child. Perhaps that’s the point, I don’t know, but I’m allowed to not like it and I don’t, and finally, the “message” is something even eleven year olds consider to be cliche. I know, because I showed this to a class of them today, and out of thirty, twenty said it was boring. One kid says he liked it, but he smells of glue. Perhaps this was Fairey’s target demographic? I sincerely hope this post clears up any ambiguity made by my (in hindsight) too short one sentence response.



  49. Hell yeah, now we are getting somewhere.

    I agree with all these reasons why the image is lacking.

  50. There should be some layering in the black areas so they don’t look so flat.

  51. reading all these comments is really amusing especially when you consider fairey laughing all the way to the bank not giving two shits.

  52. @YeahRight: He cares, all artists care. Bags of cash might ease the sting a bit but when people think you’ve lost your ability to create worthwhile art there’s no way on earth you’re laughing all the way to the bank, possibly grinning, but certainly not laughing.

  53. @iron jaiden:to some point he probably cares-you’re right -but i seriously doubt he gives two shits about serious collectors that hard anymore.lets face it every moron who doesn’t know jack about contemporary art knows and diggs his stuff.thats where the real money comes from.he’s got his own clothing brand for chrissake.he does designs for big corporations and his stuff is everywhere….

  54. quote from another site:
    “all it takes is a few weeks and one more good solid print, and ALL of you will be back to jockin’ him. You should all just save the breath.”

  55. it not a favourite of anyones but I think this is really something to do with the Banksy movie and a reaction to the STREET ART scene or what ever.
    The writings on the wall you’ve had your day.
    The horrible thing is a lot of the crew that hang around lot of the uk shows and made it so big look like that guy!!!!!!!!!!! And love it or hate it – it was those guys who bought the books and ts that obey has peddled for so long.
    Get over yourself

  56. Obey Biiiiiiatches!!! the most comments over the last month.

  57. Moog, punk died in ’77? Are you serious?

  58. To all the shep fans:

    You reap what you sow!

  59. Shut up dudes this is the best print ever.

  60. What is up with these FUGLY prints? why does shepard release these atrocious images? it hurts my eyes

  61. ah….

    I want this print sooo bad, due to it being one of the most awful things I’ve ever seen.

    This would get a D in a Graphic Design Intro class…….

    I think it’s safe to say it’s time to get rid of my Obey stuff….books, shirts…. all time to go. They can join my Flores books on ebay.


  62. Isaac, granted this is terrible, but did you see the Paul Watson prints? On the fail meter “Writing On The Wall” is a solid 9, but Paul is an eleventy.

    For anyone looking for true LULz I suggest reaching a little higher.

    My only real comment is I agree with Kevin, these big open patches are really distracting, and a very similar thing was happening in “Eye Alert” with large open patches throwing off the balance of an otherwise decent print. It just seems half-assed.

  63. great…now price went up $5!

  64. The price went up $5 to $50 per print… Oh boy…

  65. Omg… You mean it cost $45? I would not pay $4.50 for it. Just because he is famous, I will spend my hard earned money on this. Try harder, the standard is really slipping downhill.

  66. Reminds me of something Jermaine told me, “An artist is remembered as often for his mistakes as his successes” or something like that. Kind of like De Sica’s Umberto D being his second most important film and his personal favorite, yet it was lambasted as maudlin trash upon release. Same thing for “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

    I admit I wasn’t enamored with this piece when I first saw it, but all the invective directed towards it (be it genuine or hipster venom) is making it pretty attractive.

    I might buy one to hang over my Roseville Futura pottery collection.

  67. this isnt supposed to be the Keith Haring print is it?

    at first i thought this may be it. if t is, not a good tribute.

    so i am assuming this is just a punk hipster with a graffitti can and weird feets?

  68. It’s funny how Fairey has an “Eye Alert Explained” posting on his site. Too many “WTF is this sht” eMails? I’m envisioning a “Writing On The Wall Explained” posting next week from Fairey. Haha.

  69. where did he lift this image from?

    Ctrl C master!!!!!


  70. If you all do not like Sheps work, quit bitching and move on!!!

    Enough of the cry babies!

  71. Maybe Shep has reached a settlement with the AP stipulating that it gets all proceeds from his online print sales for x number of months. Soooooo….he’s making sure there won’t be any proceeds. Just a theory.

  72. “A baited Banker thus desponds,
    From his own Hand foresees his Fall;
    They have his Soul who have his Bonds;
    ‘Tis like the Writing on the Wall.”

    Jonathan Swift’s Miscellaneous works, 1720


  73. I’m likely reading too much into things here, but could this be a commentary on the recent MA Senate vote and it’s possible implications regarding the future of the current administration, or at least Obama’s health care reform?

    Yeah; I’m pretty sure I’m over analyzing this thing :)

  74. Shep’s had a pretty tough year as well. Perhaps this is a bit of a self-commentary

    “From his own Hand foresees his Fall”


  75. N da Mouth, thanks for the link. I guess since most of Fairey’s past graphical “good work” has been proven to be stolen and plagiarized, now that he is mainstream and his work is more highly publicized online and scrutinized for content, he’s gotta come up with original images and ideas. Writing On The Wall is the result.

  76. I’ve been a long time Shep fan – and agree lately some of his prints have been lacking – something. But – with all the great stuff he’s put out, you can’t expect the guy to hit it out of the park every print – if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. This has been said in a few post above – I don’t know why people have made such a big deal – hes in a rut – if people stop buying his stuff, he’ll get the point… He’s got people discussing his work, evoking emotion and getting tons of free publicity (be it good or bad), maybe that’s the point?

  77. Zma,
    I agree that print blows as well, but at least it’s balanced. The camera set off to the left is extremely awkward…..

    The sad thing is this print will sell out. People are giving him the wrong message by buying this trash. They’re are so many talented artist that can blow this work out of the water, who also put their heart and soul into their art…. and will never have this kind of success.

    I miss the old work. The E Pluribus Venom stuff….

    One thing I think a lot of people forget, is this stuff isn’t just Shep’s work. He has a crew of designers that create this stuff for him. He’s not an artist anymore, he’s a brand… instead of hiring kids as interns maybe he should hire people with a real sense of design….. or even more crazy, take his time and put himself truly back into his work or he surely will fall from the ranks of Art Superstat…..


  78. *Superstar……damn I can’t write….

  79. print look bad. wish me make good stuff like use to.

  80. OMG!!! IT’S UP! hahah 😉

  81. hope this does not sell out. kind of like YOUR EYES HERE.

  82. Im going to buy one now and line my cat’s litter box with it, when it arrives.

  83. Fairey RAISED the price of this to $50.

  84. np 3d

    was a huge fan! 02 03 04 when u still just go and purchase amazing art with very little or at least honest “public domain” images.

    Now hiz style is lacking.

    I do agree with the statement you crazy collectors (you know who you are) have brought this upon yourselves,

    O well

  85. np 3d

    was a huge fan! 02 03 04 when u still just go and purchase amazing art with very little or at least honest “public domain” images.

    Now hiz style is lacking.

    I do agree with the statement you crazy collectors (you know who you are) have brought this upon yourselves,

    O well

    worth a look

  86. Shepard Fairey I hope you read this, if you continue with this piss poor quality you are really gonna be broke in a very short time, please start doing your own art, interns can get the mail and coffee but please dont let them do your job.

  87. I like it.

  88. Fairey is making his money from advertising clients and original canvases now. He doesn’t need the money from screenprints. But if he’s reached the point where they’re just a distraction from his higher priorities, it would be more honest to make none – or at least go for far fewer releases and focus on quality. Look, it’s obvious that he can do a lot better than this. That’s why it’s disappointing.

  89. this is not only fail aesthetically but conceptually a kick in the balls to anyone that purports to have “punk sensibilities”

    this dude is richer than any of us because he now works for the man – how’s he gonna make some cheesy looking Clash-rip-off statement like this?

  90. Horrid

  91. Bob-
    I agree 100%

  92. man i love Shep. what is he doing lately? he hasn’t had anything worth buying since the johnny ramone print (which i still want really bad). maybe he’s spread himself too thin and forgotten the love. i’m keeping the faith though. he’ll be back!

  93. Shep is probably stressed out from all the AP crap and lawsuit BS. Back when I tried to mentor him, I asked him never to bastarsize himself the way Dali did. Easier said than done. I still respect Dali and will always love Shep and Amanda. “True friends are forever.” www,maxformal.com
    and by the way people The wriing is on the wall.

  94. Best print ever

  95. Aghh the Head Elf at the North Poll called, he says he wants his pointed shoes back from this guy.

  96. is that…jared followill?

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