Shepard Fairey, the artist behind President Obama’s iconic “Hope” poster, has released a series of new works aheads of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The series of three posters, unveiled last week, include photographs of African-American, Latina and Muslim women shaded in Fairey’s signature red, white and blue colors with variations on the phrase “We the People” written below them.
The artwork was commissioned by the non-profit Amplifier Foundation, which hopes to distribute the posters all around Washington, D.C. during the weekend of Trump’s inauguration, and place full-page advertisements featuring the images in the weekend edition of the Washington Post.
The non-profit also commissioned works from artists Ernesto Yerena and Jessica Sabogal.
“There is a lot of division right now. Trump is not a healer,” Fairey told PBS last week. “Art, on the other hand, is healing and inclusive, whether topically it celebrates humanity, or whether it’s just compelling visuals to make a human connection.”
“And so we thought it was the right time to make a campaign that’s about diversity and inclusion, about people seeing the common bonds we have, and our connections as human beings,” he added. “The idea was to take back a lot of this patriotic language in a way that we see is positive and progressive, and not let it be hijacked by people who want to say that the American flag or American concepts only represent one narrow way of thinking.”
The Amplifier Foundation launched a Kickstarter project earlier this month to raise money to be able to distribute the artwork quickly; the project had raised $1.3 million as of Wednesday morning, far exceeding its goal of $60,000.
Fairey — who said in 2015 that Obama had failed to live up to the hype of his iconic “Hope” poster — told PBS that that the new images were inspired by his background in “punk rock.”
“When the status quo is fearful and scapegoating, then the most punk rock you can be is finding common ground with your fellow human beings,” he said.
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