If you weren’t hip to the work of Shepard Fairey from his Andre the Giant/OBEY movement of the nineties, the Barack Obama/HOPE image of the new Millennium should have forced you to recognize. Although the artist has been taken to court by the state of Massachusetts, due to graffiti, and by the Associated Press, for claims of plagiarism, Fairey, himself, has arguably created the 2 most imitated and iconic images of the last 20 years. Now, Shepard has teamed up with Upperdeck to honor one of the most iconic figures in sports history, Michael Jordan.
Tomorrow (Sep. 11, 2009) Jordan will finally, and officially, receive his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The image above is from a collaboration between Fairey and Upperdeck to commemorate the event. Random speculation is popping up around the web, with little confirmation about the full details of the release, but the print is believed to be only one in a series that depict various moments from Jordan‘s career. Last year, Upperdeck commissioned Fairey to create a print of Kobe Bryant, in tribute of his 2007-08 NBA MVP award, and many of the MJ print assumptions are being based off of that previous release. The Kobe release was offered exclusively on Upperdeck.com with 3 different options, all measuring 20″ x 30″. The first 2 options were in a purple and gold scheme; one was released in a run of 1000 and cost around $35, while the second was framed and signed by Fairey, with a limited run of 100 and cost $550. The 3rd, and most expensive, print used a gold scheme, had a run of 100, was framed, signed by both Shepard and Kobe, and contained an added inscription by Kobe that read, “USA Gold ’08“. The hopes are that there will be a Jordan print signed as well, however, it would definitely be pricey as fuck, considering that the Kobe signed print is priced at $1,500.
Nothing is up on the Upperdeck site or Obeygiant.com as of yet, and shit is being kept, somewhat, hush hush on this project. Earlier today, however, Shepard Fairey‘s OBEYGIANT Twitter account made a few brief mentions about it. The most intriguing post that read “who has seen the jordan print?!? what do you think about it. Expect more” was later removed. If nothing else, it seems to imply that there is some basis for the multiple print rumors that have been circulating. We have also learned (via nicekicks.com) that the image is slated to measure in at 18″x24″.