Shepard Fairey Threatens To Sue Artist for OBEY Giant Parody

Left: Baxter’s ‘Protect Yourself | Right: Shepard’s ‘OBEY Giant’

Self-professed ‘Propaganda Re-Engineer’ Baxter Orr is an Austin-based, 26-year-old freelance designer who has a penchant for making limited edition prints and parodying some of Shepard Fairey’s most iconic images from the Andre the Giant face to the pop artist’s most recent mainstream coup d’art: campaign posters for Obama. However, the artist that’s made quite a fortune by aggressively plagiarizing copying the works of others, is not so happy with the idea of Andre breathing through a SARS mask, and sent the young illustrator a cease & desist demanding he remove the “Protect Yourself” prints from his website, claiming it’s a clear copyright violation.
UPDATE: For you doubters and conspiracy theorists.

Left: Baxter’s ‘DOPE’ | Right: Shepard’s ‘HOPE’
Baxter has also raised a few eyebrows with his variation of Fairey’s ‘HOPE’ poster, instead creating a satirical, limited edition “DOPE” print that celebrates the presidential hopeful’s early experimentation with drugs. “I wanted to do the other side of Obama, the young crazy kid that did coke and shit,” says Baxter, “the flawed human.” He claims he was also motivated by the creative community’s “sheep-like” embracing of Obama, describing their blind affection as “follow the leader” adding “it gets a little frightening as even the “free thinking” artists are putting this guys picture in their home as if he is the next chairman Mao.”
In the meantime, the artist isn’t too worried, and is seeking some legal help—free if possible—to figure out his next moves. Baxter maintains that Shepard’s always been a big inspiration, and that his recreations are not malicious, but rather ironic, “I wanted to parody the guy who parodies everything. He’s based his career off this. If he gets mad at this, he’s become just like Tide detergent or Coca-Cola.”
Snippet of C&D:

(Click image for bigness)
“Protect Yourself”
A little Propaganda Re-Engineering. Signed (on front) and Stamped (on back) 1 color silkscreen print on archival white paper. 18X22 inches, $25.
HOPE, CHANGE, DOPE! A satire on Barack Obama’s crazy past. This signed and numbered 3 color silkscreen print. Limited Edition of 250. 18X24 inches, $30. “We did blow when we could afford it.” -Barack Obama
See more of Baxter Orr’s work on his website: www.baxterorr.com