WASHINGTON — Shepard Fairey says he’s run out of hope for President Barack Obama.
Fairey is a street artist who owns the clothing line OBEY, was featured in the Banksy documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” and is most known for designing Obama’s famous “Hope” poster. Esquire magazine interviewed him in a piece published on Thursday where he talks music, art and Obama.
When Esquire asked Fairey if Obama lived up to his “Hope” poster, Fairey responded, “Not even close.”
“Obama has had a really tough time, but there have been a lot of things that he’s compromised on that I never would have expected,” Fairey said. “I’m not giving him a pass for not being more courageous, but I do think the entire system needs an overhaul and taking money out of politics would be a really good first step.”
Fairey told Esquire that he never thought Obama would compromise on issues such as drones and domestic spying.
He also said Americans are “uneducated and complacent.”
“What frustrates me to no end are people who want to blame Obama or blame anything that is something that if they were actually doing anything as simple as voting, it might not be as bad as it is,” Fairy said.
He said he had met the president a few times and believed him to a be good person, but “finds himself in a position where your actions are largely dictated by things out of your control.”
For the 2016 election, Fairey said he agreed with Hillary Clinton on most issues but also shared his distaste for the campaign fundraising.
“Campaign finance structure makes me very angry, because it means that politicians are going to have to raise a huge amount of money, which narrows the field dramatically,” he said.
Fairey designed the poster for Obama’s 2008 campaign and it became the optimistic symbol of his presidential campaign.
After Obama won the 2008 presidency, Fairey sued the Associated Press in 2009 after the AP claimed that he had infringed on the copyright of the photograph used in the photo. In 2011, he was fined $25,000 and sentenced to two years probation for the case.