Obama Joker Poster Causes Stir on Web

Los Angeles guerrilla art brands President Obama as a socialist.

ByDean Praetorius
August 03, 2009, 1:14 PM

Aug. 3, 2009 — -- President Obama is a lunatic. Or at least that's how one Los Angeles guerrilla street artist feels.

An unknown artist posted several posters in Los Angeles "mashing up" an image of Obama and Heath Ledger's Joker character from "The Dark Knight."

The Obama-Joker poster, with the word "socialism" in bold, dark letters printed under the image of his face, has caused a stir on the Web and was linked prominently on the Drudge Report.

The original Obama image used for the poster appeared on the cover of the Oct. 23, 2006, edition of Time magazine. The poster bears the dateline and address to Time's Web site, www.time.com above the image.

The editorialized image seems to have first made news this weekend when political pundit Tammy Bruce posted a photo on her Web site of the poster -- hanging next to a Los Angeles highway exit ramp -- taken by anonymous photographer identified as "Chris."

Bruce reported that the poster was also spotted in Hollywood.

The poster stands in stark contrast to past remakings of Obama images by artists, such as Shepard Fairey, which tended to be more fawning and respectful.

Obama Joker Poster Contrasts Fairey HOPE

Fairey, the street artist who created the ubiquitous "HOPE" poster for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, depicting a thoughtful, distinguished-looking Obama shaded in red, white and blue, has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the Associated Press.

The AP accuses Fairey of copyright infringment for using an image that the artist acknowledges is based on a photograph taken in April 2006 by an Associated Press photographer.

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