It has been said that the purpose of art is to take complex concepts and bring them to a level that can be easily and quickly perceived.
Does everyone remember Shepard Fairey? If you don’t, this should jog your memory:
His was the art chosen to portray the direction that Barack Obama wished to take his presidential campaign. His motif and composition became iconic; complex ideas like “hope” and “change” were made easily tangible with naught but a few color choices and a distinct style.
However, in year 3 of Mr. Obama’s administration, hope has faded. After the promise of the financial stimulus package, the repeal of DADT, and the onset of the Affordable Care Act, there has been no substantive work toward solving our country’s problems. The administration lends no political leadership to its beliefs, and the Republican Party (backed by political extremists like the Tea Party) has caused legislative gridlock to the point of near disaster.
Mr. Fairey clearly understands the power of art. Here is his new call:
Same color scheme and style, but now the message is very, very different. The concepts of the 99%, and of the Guy Fawkes mask (from Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta) that has come to symbolize Anonymous, are now telling the administration that “hope” is waning. In fact, the red text at the bottom of the piece is superfluous.
This should be a clarion call to Mr. Obama — the very people he reached out to 2008 are ready to turn away from him unless he “changes”.
A side note: here is another Fairey creation that is just as telling as his previous work:
While Arab Spring has proven that tyrants can fall from power, it is also a powerful symbol for those in the United States as well. Politicians have all tried to hide the truth, and suppress it. And in this day of the internet, the truth cannot be hidden.
It will come out.
We are reminded of John Kennedy’s statement:
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”