Monday, March 9, 2009

Steelerbaby Blues, Pittsburgh City Paper, 3/5/09

Via Pittsburgh City Paper: Steelerbaby Blues:

"Shepard Fairey is the creator of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster. He's been admired by critics and guerilla artists, and just weeks ago he was the subject of a profile on CBS Sunday Morning. But Pittsburgh graphic designer Larkin Werner has a different perspective. To him, Fairey is the guy who is "picking on a baby."

The baby in question is Steelerbaby, a blue-eyed kewpie doll clad in a knit black-and-gold uniform. Steelerbaby became an online hit -- he boasts more than 2,000 friends on Facebook -- after Werner created a Web site for the doll during the NFL playoffs in 2005. The following year, he started designing and selling Steelerbaby merchandise at the online store to satisfy demand for the doll Werner describes as "slightly creepy."

But early last month, Werner learned that Fairey's company, Obey Giant Art Inc., sent a cease-and-desist letter, informing the online store that Steelerbaby's merchandise marked with the word "Obey" was infringing on the artist's trademark. "

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