Absolute Obama by Michael Thompson

About the Artist

About the Design

Michael Thompson, aka Freestylee, studied graphic design at the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston, Jamaica, now the renowned Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. In the early 1980s, he landed an apprenticeship in Kingston, and started to experiment with simple, silhoutted design concepts suitable or screen printing and poster art. Freestylee considers himself a “creative activist.” Much of his awareness designs shared on Flickr and on his freestylee.net website express support and solidarity with people who suffer the oppressive social, political and economic ills of our planet. He accomplishes this by using the power of social media to stimulate awareness and to spark conversation about our threatened freedoms and the increasing cruelty imposed on disadvantage people worldwide. This is communicated through beautiful and colorful iconic poster designs. Freestylee is immersed in reggae music and culture and many of the pieces he has designed over the years are inspired by the progressive messages and energy of early reggae singers, such as, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Culture, Horace Andy and Burning Spear. He has developed an exciting collection of works celebrating his Jamaican heritage. He captures the style of the urban rude boy and the royal richness of Rastafarian culture, and the symbolisms of Kingston’s vibrant street culture from the 1960s through 1980s. Michael has participated in numerous awareness campaigns for organizations such as Code Pink, Gaza Freedom March, Living History Forum of Stockholm Sweden, and Face Africa clean water efforts in Africa and recently his posters have appeared on the streets of the Arab Spring. He participated in the exhibition, “Edna Manley’s Bogle a Contest of Icons, 2010” curated by Executive Director Veerle Poupeye of the National Gallery of Jamaica, the oldest and largest public art gallery in the Anglophone Caribbean. His work has successfully traveled through Europe with the “Reggae Movement Exhibition:” telling the story of the Reggae Sound System’s journey from Kingston, Jamaica to Europe (2011). As a consultant he offered his services on design projects for the National Urban League. Currently, “Freestylee: artist without borders” is exhibited at the Drum Arts Center in Birmingham UK, July 16 through September 2012 , organized by curator David Thomas. Feature articles about Michael have appeared in international magazines, Riddim, Samuel, Irie Up, Page, Arise and international blogs such as ARC magazine, Graphicart-news.com, etc.

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44th President Barack Obama is a man that has made history and Freestylee wanted to commemorate this important moment in American history with this poster.

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