Shepard Fairey was born on February 15, 1970 in Charleston, South Carolina. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Growing up, Fairey was heavily influenced by the growing punk rock and skateboarding lifestyle. Using a screen printer in his art class, he figured out how to create t-shirts from stencils for himself and his friends, which later gave way to his simplistic style that he uses today in his artwork. Shepard majored in illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. It was during his years at RISD that he created the original “Andre the Giant has a Posse'” sticker and also "liberated" his first billboard with the same image. By the time he graduated in 1992, Shepard had already started the business Alternative Graphics. He went on to found the clothing brand Giant Distribution, the design firm and art gallery Blk/Mkt, and the art magazine Swindle. He now focuses his attention on a derivative of Blk/Mkt called Studio Number One and its attached gallery, Subliminal Projects. Along with his image of Andre the Giant, Shepard Fairey is most recognized for his iconic “Hope poster” created to support Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. The original now hangs in D.C.ʼs US National Portrait Gallery. Shepard has shown in such prestigious galleries as Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Jonathan Levine Gallery, Stolen Space, and Galerie Magda Danysz. In 2009 he had a solo exhibition at Bostonʼs Institute of Contemporary Art and his work can be seen in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.