Mannie Garcia's Source Photo of Obama Poster Found
First we thought that the below item had solved the mystery of the source of Shepard Fairey’s image of President Barack Obama that became an icon and is now in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.
"Blogger Michael Cramer created the composite photo above after sifting through countless images to find a match. The poster has Obama facing the opposite direction; Cramer flipped it to correspond with the original source photo."Read the Reuter story here.
However Philadelphia Inquirer photographer and blogger Tom Gralish then found another potential source discovered by Steve Simula here!
And in the comments section of Simula's Flickr page, Cramer writes "You definitely found the right one. My match was close, but you got it spot on. Congrats."
Good detective work by Simula.
It gets better; after Simula identified the photograph (it was reproduced in this blog without any references so no one knew who the photographer was), the Inky's Tom Gralish began diggging around and he found that the original photograph was "made by freelance photographer Mannie Garcia who was on assignment for the AP in April of 2006." Details here.
Good detective work by Gralish.
Mannie Garcia is a DC-based photographer!
So Mannie Garcia is the uncredited source for Fairey’s artwork now at the NPG.
I think that Mannie's photograph should accompany the artwork and that the NPG should exhibit them side by side.
And thus I hereby call for the National Portrait Gallery to acquire the original Mannie Garcia photograph.
And kudos to Gralish and Simula.
Update: Brian Sherwin, Senior Editor at MyArtSpace.co Blog has some words on how this whole issue relates to copyright and Orphan Works Legislation.
Update 2: Mannie Garcia writes in his website: "The Danziger Gallery which represents the artistic works of Mr. Fairey contacted me on the 21st of January 2009 to inform me that my photograph was in fact the basis for the artwork that has become better known now as the “HOPE” and “PROGRESS” posters"