Charleston's Shepard Fairey creates inauguration protest posters

"Greater Than Fear"

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Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal, and Ernesto Yerena's posters will run in the Washington Post on Jan. 20 - KICKSTARTER
  • Kickstarter
  • Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal, and Ernesto Yerena's posters will run in the Washington Post on Jan. 20
Charleston native Shepard Fairey is no stranger to political art. He's the man behind 2008's famous "HOPE" poster, after all, which is still one of the most iconic images of President Barack Obama's eight years in office. Fairey, who initially supported Bernie Sanders for president, and later, Hillary Clinton, is back with more political posters — ones that will be used to protest President-elect Donald Trump on inauguration day.

According to PBS Newshour, this new poster series, "We The People," features three portraits from Fairey, along with one each from Colombian American muralist Jessica Sabogal and Chicano graphic artist Ernesto Yerena. The artists are collaborating with the Amplifier Foundation, a nonprofit that "amplifies" grassroots movements. A Kickstarter to fund the posters has already raised over $345,000 (with the original pledged goal of $60,000).

Shepard Fairey grew up in Charleston - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Shepard Fairey grew up in Charleston
Amplifier is also helping get this art into the hands of people who want to use it to protest during the inauguration. Because large-sized signs are prohibited, Amplifier's plan is to buy full-page ads in the Washington Post on Jan. 20 that feature the "We The People" images, which can be torn out and carried by protestors.

Earlier this week Fairey talked to PBS about "We The People." In the interview he says, "There is a lot of division right now. Trump is not a healer. 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."

Fairey also explains the reasoning behind the portraits he chose to put on the posters, saying, "It’s hard to encapsulate the complexity of what we’re facing, going into this Trump presidency, in three images. But we chose three groups that are vulnerable. In the history of the U.S., there are a lot of people who fled persecution from Europe on the basis of religious identities."

Read the full interview on PBS Newshour. And if you want to join in protest but can't make it to D.C., head to Charleston's Women's March on Washington, held at Liberty Square at 11 a.m. Sat. Jan. 21.


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