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Presidential Candidates Inspire Wave Of Pop Art

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Presidential Candidates Inspire Wave Of Pop Art

Election 2008: Money, Media & Influence

Presidential Candidates Inspire Wave Of Pop Art

Presidential Candidates Inspire Wave Of Pop Art

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No other presidential election cycle has matched this year in terms of visual propaganda and paraphernalia.

The use of political images can shape not only elections but an entire cultural sensibility.

For analysis, Farai Chideya speaks with two experts on the subject: Deborah Willis — professor of photography and imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts — and Steven Seidman, chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at Ithaca College in New York.

Watch our video, "From Hope to Hero: Political Art In Election 2008."

Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

Posters Show Obama as Superhero, Sun God, Saint

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Poster

"Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal From store.barackobama.com hide caption

toggle caption From store.barackobama.com

Artists who back Democrat Barack Obama depict the presidential candidate as a transcendent figure. One poster shows Obama with a halo. Another likens him to a revolutionary peasant.

Steve Seidman, chairman of the strategic communication department at Ithaca College, tracks the role of iconography in politics. He finds a long tradition behind a recent Obama poster, "Yes We Can" by artist Antar Dayal, in which the candidate's face is turned toward the horizon.

"He's gazing into the distance, almost like a visionary," Seidman says. It's a common approach, the professor says. The Obama rendering reminds him of posters for presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. "Even Adolf Hitler — posters in his election campaigns in Germany have shown him gazing into the distance."

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