“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” -Toni Morrison
Art Amplifies. Art Escalates. Art Provokes. Art Unifies.
Drinking in Damaged, Shepard Fairey’s solo show in Los Angeles at sunset the other night filled me with so much glee (and jumping up and down) that I made the security guards/staff giggle. I’ve followed and loved Shepard’s art from afar for years. My love of street art is well documented, and I now seem to live in its mecca in Venice/Marina in Los Angeles.
I love British Design, WWII posters, Andy Warhol, Banksy, Toulouse-Lautrec and have always been drawn to using the reverse or black/red in my design work. Shepard’s Make Art, Not War poster has been framed and hanging in my house since I don’t know when and my making Content Panda (my software company) stickers and plastering them everywhere was inspired by the Obey stickers. I think his sticker is one the most brilliant pieces of propaganda ever.
His solo show Damaged brings together his history and elements from the first Andre the Giant stickers, Obey, through the Women’s March portraits and blends them with a pointed finger at ignorance and apathy that cracks those elements open and uses them to continue to shine a light on waking up and taking action. Images and words direct from our zeitgeist, meticulously crafted, and served up hot of the presses. The Damaged Times newspaper that is there for the taking is one of my favorite pieces of the show. I don’t have a good enough word to capture how epic, unequivocally awesome, amazing, and monumentally fantastic the show is, so I won’t try.
Damaged is still open for a few days until this Sunday Dec 17th if you live LA you must go.
For further reference for those that don’t know his work — Andre the Giant Has a Posse. The Obama Hope poster. Women’s March Posters. The giant balloon in the Eiffel Tower. Or an Obey sticker on a traffic sign or water tower near you. Yep, that’s him.
Shepard Fairey and many other artists made, printed and gave away for Free — the posters for the Women’s March last year, I proudly gave out hundreds of them there in DC last January. After the event, I realized I was so excited and overwhelmed with that day, that I had given all of them away. Luckily I had funded the Kickstarter for them, so I received set later. Giving away those posters and people reactions to it “are these are free?” “can I have one for my Mom,” “bless you” is something I’ll never forget.
The Amplifier Organization who made all of that happen in conjunction with the Women’s March is headquartered in Seattle, and is one of the organizations that is connecting artists with movements and causes and they give away so much free art. Follow them, go to their events, please share their message and support them.
Want to know more about Amplifier Org, follow them on Facebook. Want to know more about Shepard Fairey — a documentary just came out a month ago about him, his history, his sweet family and well, you should just see it. It is called Obey Giant, it’s a Hulu Original and is wonderful. @ObeyGiant is his social handle on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Lastly, next month, really just a few weeks away in January 2018 in Los Angeles there will be a weeklong event called INTO ACTION! A celebration of cultural resistance + community power. 9 days. 175 artists.
This January, we illuminate our resilience and take back our hope. January 13–21: a large-scale pop-up art exhibition and community organizing action hub in Los Angeles featuring hundreds of works of art, dozens of installations, and 25+ hours of live performances, symposiums, and workshops. This is INTO ACTION. Shepard Fairey and an amazing set of judges will be on hand for the events and the below. I’m going, am volunteering and doing what I can to amplify!
“If you are looking for a sign darling, this is it. Let’s rock”.
OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTS: There is an open call for art submissions due by Jan 5th, if you are a visual artist, get your submission in and learn about it on the INTO ACTION website.
This solo Shepard Fairey show and the word Damaged has been sinking into me, I have more to say about it, but for now, just go check out the sites, follow the artists and please support the good work that is happening.
I say this all the time, and I truly believe it.
“Empathy makes us human; action makes us warriors.”
And I love the action that surrounds this man and these organizations.