Artist: Shepard Fairey
Title: Imperial Glory + POW(ER)
Size: 36 x 24 Inches
Technique: Offset Lithograph
Edition: Limited Open Edition
Notes: Both Prints are Hand Signed in Pencil by the Artist.
"The Imperial Glory print is a comment upon the U.S. military industrial complex.
In 1961, as President Eisenhower was leaving office, he delivered a farewell speech in which he warned that, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. Judging by the fabrications and misconstructions that sucked us into the Iraq War, and the virtual blank check we've handed to defense contractors, I'd say as a nation we've done a generally horrible job of keeping the military-industrial complex in check.
Here is a brief explanation of the POW(ER) print.
I was asked by my longtime friends at PAPER magazine to guest edit their art issue. I gladly accepted, and the issue should be out later in Nov. In the issue my friend and PAPER editor Carlo McCormick, who wrote an essay for my book "Supply And Demand", wrote a fantastic essay about the evolution of visual culture from Pop Art to street art, and the impact of the internet and media saturation. To illustrate Carlo's essay I created the POW(ER) image. The image is an homage to influential Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein, who appropriated and re-painted comic frames often transforming them in meaning and context. I have often described my art as a fusion of Pop Art, street art, and political art. I utilize the platform created by Pop Art, but I try to take my work even more directly to the people.
Like Pop artists before me, I utilize a vocabulary of familiar cultural visual references. In fact, after I conceived the POW(ER) image and did some further research on Lichtenstein, I discovered an image he had made of a woman holding a can of spray paint or hairspray. The image looked familiar to me, because a few years ago I re-illustrated the same piece of clip art that Lichtenstein referenced for his spray paint/hair spray painting. The connection was was too serendipitous to ignore and I proceeded to create the POW(ER) image. For me, street art has always been about populism and emPOWERment.
The recent embrace of street art in the art world as a legitimate genre demonstrates the power of accessible, relatable imagery, and in many ways builds upon the triumphs of Pop Art. Check out the PAPER issue when it comes out to read Carlo's excellent essay.
Thanks for caring.