OBEY Clothing is a popular clothing producing company founded in 2001 by street artist and illustrator Shepard Fairey as an extension to his work in activism.
The brand is well known for incorporating politically and socially provocative propaganda into the designs of their clothing and its founder describes this as manufacturing dissent. The brand gets its name from the logo used in the 1988 American cult satirical science fiction horror film They Live written and directed by John Carpenter.
OBEY incorporates designs into their products that are commonly perceived as controversial or anti-establishment–oriented. Many items have symbols that reflect communist-styled propaganda which are laid against a backdrop of additional artwork that is generally associated with capitalism, guildism, and secret societies.
This portrayal of diametric opposites (opposite extremes) creates a unique form of expression. The company also produces products that artistically depict political controversy, often by using provocative imagery that the media or society generally associates with it. Due to the designers incorporating so many controversial or contradictory topics into a single clothing print, those who look at them are often left to make completely undirected interpretations of the piece and its connotations.