Shepard Fairey's New Occupy Hope Poster
Shepard Fairey’s street art has never been a stranger to politically charged themes, yet his latest poster (in support of the Occupy protests) may be his most controversial to date. The same artist who brought us the iconic two tone image of “Hope” during Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign has reexamined his most notable work, placing a Guy Fawkes mask over the commander in chief’s face and including the text: “Mister President, we HOPE you’re on our side.”
Fawkes, the controversial British revolutionary who attempted to blow up the House of Lords in the 17th century, has become the unwritten mascot for the Occupy movement; and Shepard’s addition of the mask to his “Hope” poster is without a doubt a nod to the revolution Occupy members hope to create. To see such a widely known artist transform what has been the symbol of an ambitious new presidency, into a call for action from the citizens of this country to its government truly shows the place that art can serve in times of nationwide angst. Whether you are the 99% or the 1%, Shepard Fairey’s new “Hope” poster definitely warrants a powerful reaction.
Text: Kenny Beats