Wednesday, August 20, 2008

David Choe x Barack Obama Prints x DNC

Fine artist David Choe is the latest artist to partner with Upper Playground to produce not one, but TWO Barack Obama prints. Choe has designed and produced apparel, adidas sneakers, comic books, movie posters, album covers, fine art books and toys, among many other projects. He is currently the star of a documentary about his life in the film Dirty Hands.

David Choe’s Barack Obama posters are part of an ongoing series from Upper Playground of artist collaborations in support of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Upper Playground has endorsed Obama's campaign by creating posters featuring artwork from Grotesk, The Date Farmers, Munk One, Ron English, Alex Pardee, Morning Breath, Mac, Sam Flores and Mear One, in addition to printing T-shirts with Shepard Fairey's Obama graphics to help support the campaign.

There were 200 prints made that are signed and numbered of each design, and each poster retails for $200. The limited-edition 18"X24" print is available exclusively online. Go HERE and HERE to buy yours now (please note: prints will not ship until Oct. 15, 2008).

All proceeds from the sales of the poster will go directly to creating more campaign t-shirts, posters, and stickers by other artists in support of Obama's bid for President.

Choe's statement about his vision for these prints:

I'm just an artist. All I do is paint pretty pictures, and sometimes when I go someplace and the Asian kids recognize me they project all their hopes and dreams on me like I was the next coming of Bruce Lee, like I’m a role model, and I start to get stressed out. I'm just an artist.

Obama might soon be the most powerful man in the world. That's heavy. I’m not really a political person, but our country is in such a mess, and if Obama gets elected next, I can’t even believe the pressure this guys gonna be under. He’s gotta carry the weight of the world on his shoulders and lead the entire nation. Millions will look up to him, while others will look down on him under close scrutiny. This society we live in just waits for people to fall, so they can point and laugh at our imperfections on late night TV.

So I was looking at this newspaper of a profile of Obama's head, and looking at a globe in my room, and I was thinking of an atlas kind of image with Obama carrying the world on his shoulders. He’s gonna have to become like a superhero to get us through this, but this battle is not so much physical in that it's more mental. It was late at night and my eyes were getting kind of blurry and I noticed Florida all the way to the bottom tip of Texas on my globe – looked like they followed Obama's hairline on his side profile. I sketched out Obama on the computer and put a map of the U.S. around his head, and it fit perfectly. America with all its ills and beauty, with all its economic, racial, religious, and political problems weighing heavy on Obama's mind, but for the first time, in a very long time, there seems like there's hope.
-David Choe

Upper Playground x Democratic National Convention

Upper Playground is partnering with Shepard Fairey, and Evolutionary Media Group on a special exhibit at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The Manifest Hope Gallery will showcase both established and emerging artists and present the most widely recognized pieces seen throughout the 2008 presidential primary campaign, as well as newly commissioned works and previous works on loan from some of the United States’ top artists.

Featured artists at the exhibit will include Shepard Fairey and many of the artists that have designed Obama posters via Upper Playground including Sam Flores, Mac, Ron English, David Choe, The Date Farmers, and Justin Bua (his print will be available soon). Other artists include Chris Pastras, Mel Kadel, Todd Lockwood, Maya Hayuk, Cathie Bleck, CRO (Go Tell Mama), Evan Hecox, Lukas Ketner, Gary Baseman, Scot Lefavor, Lisa Congdon, Amy Martin, and many more. Resident DJ Jeremy Sole will on hand all week to inspire music inside the art galleries.

The Manifest Hope Gallery will be open to the public in Denver, CO at the Democratic National Convention, between Sunday August 24th, 2008 and Thursday, August 28th, 2008 from 10:00 am–5:00 pm daily. Housed within the Andenken Gallery (2990 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205) and an additional adjacent warehouse. The Manifest Hope Gallery spans 10,000 sq. ft. and will draw together a works as varied as the voices of the artists who created them.

On Wednesday, August 27th at 6:00 pm, Manifest Hope and partner San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will host Unconventional '08 with musical performances on an outdoor stage to feature artists such as: Silversun Pickups, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cold War Kids, Nada Surf and DJ Z Trip. Tickets are free and a limited amount will be available by visiting Manifest Hope Gallery in Denver. Additionally, there will be an intimate invite only VIP performance songwriter in the round performance featuring Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, Zooey Deschanel of She and Him, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf and singer/songwriter Jonathan Rice.

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