Shepard Fairey’s new project

“Americans…a lot of them are ignorant and lazy.” – Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey has a new project. Rhode Islanders will remember his work designed just for residents. If you look closely around Rhode Island you’ll see small square stickers on car bumpers or in windows, or on glass doors in restaurants and shops. The RISD educated artist – made famous by his Obama poster – produced an original (some say, adapted) work of art for Rhode Island. The RI Angel of Hope and Strength.

On the RISD website the project’s origination is described: “When Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo—who has been getting high approval ratings for her aggressive approach to the COVID-19 crisis—reached out to RISD President Rosanne Somerson a few weeks ago, it was largely to talk about how to reopen the state as safely as possible and to invite her to participate in the governor’s New Normal Advisory Group. But she also wanted to discuss the role art can play in bringing Rhode Islanders together despite the isolation of current stay-at-home orders.

At Somerson’s suggestion, the governor reached out to renowned public artist Shepard Fairey 92 IL, a RISD trustee who now lives on the West Coast and is perhaps best known for both the Andre the Giant OBEY street art campaign that launched his career and for designing the iconic Obama Hope poster during the 2008 presidential campaign.”

And that was the beginning of a poster that drew some controversy to Rhode Island. Some saw a Maoist symbolism of anarchy – not at all a symbol of hope.

A new cause.

Now, Fairey has a new project and a new cause. He was recruited to the Enough Trump movement of artists who are designing posters and art to support the cause. The campaign is designed on the website, as the artist, Bains says, “to embody the feeling of exhaustion and rage…under the Trump administration. The treatment of children in cages at the border, attempts at destabilizing Daca and the public criminalization of Mexican people, who are the backbone of labor in this country, was more than we can tolerate.”

Several artists have contributed art, writings and also videos.

There are two art posters by Fairey, one which reads “Enough Monarchy We Need Democracy!” while another, styled like a Russian constructivist poster, says “Enough Noise and Lies, Gimme Some Truth!

Fairey has been called “the poster child for political posters”.  Fairey said that Americans need to step up and vote. Art is one way of reaching people. “We need a public that isn’t so uneducated and complacent,” he said. “I hate to say Americans are ignorant and lazy, but a lot of them are ignorant and lazy.”

The Enough of Trump website features a gallery of downloadable images of artworks, along with links to volunteer and activism opportunities across the country. Using art as a “catalyst for social change” the aim, quite clearly stated, “is to get Trump out of office”.

From Enough of Trump


“Donald Trump, his administration, and his Republican enablers have jeopardized our country, our people, and our democratic values. People For the American Way is collaborating with prominent artists to galvanize voters to action around one central theme: We’ve had enough of Trump’s racism, lies, and corruption. We’ve had ENOUGH OF TRUMP.

Another time, another artist…Norman Rockwell

Normal Rockwell, best knowned for the iconic all-American paintings such as The Thanksgiving Dinner, in 1943, went on a nationwide tour where 1.2 million people viewed “The Four Freedoms”, art encouraged (if not directly commissioned) to support the United States selling of war bonds. $132 million in bonds were sold. Encouraging the growing of vegetables in backyards gave rise to “Victory Garden” art.

The art was said to have the goal of “confirming how the decisions Americans made in their everyday lives mattered.” When paintings came to a city, they didn’t go into museums, but in to more public viewing spots, such as Radio City Music Hall.

Rosie the Riveter and The Four Freedoms were only the beginning of Rockwell’s efforts to lighten and bolster the American people.

The cover of the Saturday Evening Post’s supported women in the workforce, and women helping in the war effort – the “life” of Rosie the Riveter survives in popularity to this very day. There was a whole campaign around her – with songs and activities.

There is the work depicting a young African-American girl, six-year-old Ruby Bridges, being escorted to a formerly all-white school in New Orleans by a cadre of US marshalls protecting her from an angry and violent mob.

The problem we all live with – Ruby Bridges

Rockwell was proud that his art could motivate and touch average Americans. His art fought against fascism, and for freedom at home, highlighting the brightness of the American spirit in the darkest of times”.

ABOUT BRAVE NEW FILMS Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films (BNF) are at the forefront of the fight to create a just America. Greenwald and BNF create free documentary films that inform the public, challenge corporate media, and motivate people to take action on social issues nationwide. Brave New Films’ investigative films have shined a light on the Trump administration, voter suppression, U.S. drone strikes, the prosecution of whistleblowers, and Wal Mart’s corporate practices. BNF’s mission is to champion social justice issues by using a model of media, education, and grassroots volunteer involvement that inspires, empowers, motivates and teaches civic participation and makes a difference. #BraveNewFilms

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