Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Artist Behind Obama Joker Image Revealed (Well, Sort Of)

By Firas Alkhateeb

Thanks to Mark Milian of the Los Angeles Times, we now know the artist behind the original image on the, now famous, Barack Obama Joker poster. The creator of the most striking political image of 2009 is Firas Alkhateeb, a 20-year old Chicago student, who created the image by altering a Time magazine cover using Adobe PhotoShop. Oddly enough, the Palestinian American, Alkhateeb clearly appears to not be the same person who created the "Socialism" poster using the same image. That individual who hijacked and altered that image from Flickr is still unknown.

Ironically, Alkhateeb does not seem to care for the Barack Obama Joker poster, and he does not appear to be against socialism. This is evidenced by a quote from Alkhateeb: "It really doesn't make any sense to me at all. To accuse him of being a socialist is really ... immature. First of all, who said being a socialist is evil?"

Also surprising, Alkhateeb appears to lean to the liberal side. He prefers Dennis Kucinich to the other prominent politicians. He does not seem to care much for Obama and says, "In terms of domestic policy, I don't think he's really doing much good for the country right now. We don't have to 'hero worship' the guy."

This is a surprising turn. Most of us were probably thinking the Obama poster was the work of Republicans or some crazy underground artist. It turns out the creator is just some student who shared his doodles online. The true poster bandit still appears to be at-large and enjoying his anonymity. One wonders if we will ever know the true identity of the person who made Alkhateeb's art famous.

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