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The fourth offering in the special UNO® Artiste Series features the distinctive bold style of “Obey” street artist Shepard Fairey. With contemporary graphics and intricate designs, Fairey’s art has reached everyone from skateboarders to presidents, inspiring fine art to activism. This special edition of the UNO® game features his art on every card as well as four special, two-sided cards that when put together create two different art pieces. It’s a game time masterpiece! Just as important – this deck is fully recyclable, with everything made from paper. In celebration of this special deck, Mattel has donated to Ocean Conservancy, a favorite cause of the artist.
©Obey Giant Art, Inc.
UNO THROUGH THE EYES OF SHEPARD FAIREY
He gave us HOPE. He gave us rebellion. And now he's bringing his street art-inspired energy to our beloved UNO. We're proud and excited to present the Shepard Fairey UNO artiste drop. Not only is every card a work of art, but this deck is 100% sustainable, meaning no plastic trays or cellophane around the cards.
Describe your artistic style, especially for someone who's never seen your work.
In the simplest terms, my work is very graphic and stylized, combining abstract ornamental and geometric elements with representational imagery that has been simplified to its most potent essence. My influences come from various places, including pop art, propaganda posters, album covers, skateboard graphics, and street art. There are nods to many different artistic genres in my work, but the consistent throughline is my limited color palette and illustration style.
How did this collaboration come to be? And what's your experience been like working with Mattel?
We had an initial meeting with someone from Mattel and got to talking about UNO, and he put me in touch with their team, and they were excited to do an Artiste Series with me. Working with Mattel has been great. The team was very receptive to my suggestion that my collaborative set uses sustainable materials. The UNO team was very receptive to that idea and my idea to make the imagery on the cards related to environmental responsibility.
I played UNO with my family as a kid, and so the game holds a nostalgic place for me, and I know that it is still played by young people and families globally. I am always looking for ways to connect my art with people in unexpected ways, and I loved the idea that my art could be a conversation starter in combination with people enjoying a game of UNO.
What does it mean to be able to create your own interpretation of such an iconic game?
I'm always honored to collaborate with brands and iconography that have an iconic history and a loyal following. Because I've been working as an artist and designer for many years, I felt I could rise to the challenge of finding a balance between my voice and visual language combined with the recognizable visuals of UNO. I think the blend of my style with UNO is exciting to the UNO audience and my audience in a different way than either just by themselves. I love that collaborative x-factor.
This collaboration is UNO's first sustainably made Artiste Series deck, talk to us about that connection and your environmental activism. Why did you choose to partner with the Ocean Conservancy on this project?
Protecting the planet for future generations of humans and other species is very important to me. We can all make a small difference by changing some of our habits, but it is also important for us to encourage large corporations to become more environmentally responsible with their products and manufacturing. By using sustainable materials for this project, UNO has shown the courage to say that things can evolve in a better way. The charity component partnering with the Ocean Conservancy was important to me because even though we are land dwellers, ocean health is extremely important to the entire planet's health.
Anything else we should know about this UNO deck?
I'm very grateful to UNO for partnering with me on this and going sustainable, and to anyone who likes my art and likes the game, your support means a lot symbolically because if people are enthusiastic about this sustainable product, it can encourage more of the same.
MEET MICHELLE COMPTON
MEET MICHELLE COMPTON
Explain your connection to UNO.
It’s amazing to be part of a brand that has brought so many people together (or apart, depending on how ruthless the game gets). During the Pandemic, I downloaded UNO and played for hours with strangers across the world to pass the time. It was a great way to break up my day.
What was your initial reaction about a potential collaboration with Shepard Fairey?
I was ecstatic! Shepard Fairey is one of the biggest names in design and someone I’ve followed for quite a long time. So being able to collaborate with him on a project was very exciting.
His work has such an iconic visual look to it, and he has such a fantastic use of color, that I wanted to emphasize that in this product.
What does it mean to be able to create your own interpretation of the iconic art by Shepard Fairey?
I’m not gonna lie, I was a little anxious on this one, because it’s being entrusted with the actual artist’s work. Shepard was an amazing collaborator and had a lot of trust in me and my team to do his work justice. I think we made something very special.