If art imitates life, then we suppose this falls under the “art imitates art imitating life.” In seeing the new George Clooney-directed/starring film, Ides of March, which concerns the inner-workings of a presidential campaign for an inspiring progressive candidate, the LA Times‘ David Ng noticed the regular appearance of a silkscreened poster featuring Clooney’s congressman character with the word “Believe” underneath. It looks familiar because it’s apparently a near-exact copy of the Obama “Hope” poster that catapulted already popular street artist Shepard Fairey into becoming a household name, as well as landing him in a whole mess of trouble with the Associated Press for basing the poster off of an image taken by one of their photographers. This whole thing gets a little extra familiar when you recall that, before telling the truth about where he’d based his “Hope” image from, Fairey said that it was from a photo of President Obama sitting next to, you guessed it, George Clooney. Whatever strange back and forth there is, Ng looked into the film’s poster and while he didn’t receive too many details, its similarity was clearly not an accident. Here’s a bit:
Fairey didn’t design the poster for the movie, according to the artist’s spokesman. But the artist’s signature aesthetic is unmistakably present throughout the movie, with the “Believe” poster highly visible at the Morris campaign headquarters and various political rallies.The similarity between the two posters is no doubt deliberate and gives the movie a sense of verisimilitude and immediacy. Obama shares some similarities to the Morris character, a left-wing politician whose platform includes pro-environment reform and a reduction in U.S. dependence on foreign oil.