Shepard Fairey designed this Joaquin Phoenix poster to promote the September 10th premiere of the movie “I’m Still Here,” directed by Casey Affleck (via NYMag)

Up-and-coming street art critic RJ of Vandalog asks why the I’m Still Here movie poster campaign by Shepard Fairey’s Obey studio is so damn ugly, ok, he didn’t exactly say it that way (I’m paraphrasing) but he might as well have:

There are the posters depicting Joaquin Phoenix which have been popping up in a few major US cities. Forget about this being illegally place guerrilla advertising for some film, they’re pretty unappealing to look at. Even if they were straight up street art, they’d be pretty unremarkable, unless you were remarking on their poor design. Well, according to New York Magazine, these posters were designed by Shepard Fairey and they are presumably being placed by his street team. The poor design of this image is EXACTLY WHY people criticize 1-layer stencils and Shepard’s poster style as nothing more than failed art students putting a photo through Photoshop.

Ouch. Sadly, I think RJ’s right. This is perhaps one of the worst poster I’ve seen Fairey’s crew pull out of their asses. It is dull, poorly conceived, and about as interesting on the streetscape as a middle of the road corporate ad. We won’t even get into the fact that the poster/ads that are being illegally placed around major American cities — i.e. #FaireyFAIL. Anyway, thankfully someone has been messing with them in LA in a way that makes them easier to enjoy.

Read the rest here (the comments are worth a look).

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Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.