Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko
From The Giant: The Definitive Obey Giant Site
Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko (November 23 (Old Style) or December 5 (New Style), 1891 – December 3, 1956) was a Russian artist, sculptor, and photographer.
Rodchenko was one of the most versatile Constructivist and Productivist artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution of 1917. He fully embraced the revolution’s call for a radical re-shaping of Russian society, with social justice being installed as the dominant paradigm. From 1918 to 1921, while rising to prominence in the new cultural bureaucracy, he pursued a highly innovative program of abstract painting and sculpture. With other artists--including his lifelong companion, Varvara Stepanova--he founded the Constructivist movement. Associating the avant-garde goal of artistic progress with the political goal of social progress, the Constructivists regarded their systematic investigations of the material and formal logic of art as essential to the creation of a Communist society.
In Supply and Demand, Shepard Fairey credits Rodchenko for being a profound influence on both Fairey’s personal work and propaganda artwork in general. This influence is evident on Fairey’s 1996 works Giant Arrow (a.k.a. Giant Mustard and Navy), Giant Orange (a.k.a. !Giant!), and Giant Exclamation (a.k.a. Giant! Red and Navy). Giant Arrow, in particular, is reminiscent of the Rodchenko’s 1923 off-set lithograph entitled “Dobrolet.” In addition, Fairey's 2008 print Say Yes! is also based on a Rodchenko work.