There is perhaps no better artist than Shepard Fairey to simultaneously address this dark moment in American politics and the nature of advertising. This week, we installed Shepard's No Future in the heart of New York City. It serves as a reminder to stay strong, loving, and loud, and that there are brighter days on the horizon.
This poster is an update on one of Shepard's recent prints, about which he wrote:
My art is usually social and political regardless of who is in the White House, but my concerns and frustrations are amplified by the election of Donald Trump. I joked while Trump was campaigning that his slogan should be “Manifest Density,” a parody of “Manifest Destiny,” which was an embarrassingly egotistical pronouncement by rich white men that it was God’s desire for them to conquer ocean to ocean in the territory that would become the United States. Trump appealed to an uninformed electorate who looked for scapegoats and were driven by most likely one or more of the dark impulses listed in the print. I’m pushing for a future where those impulses have no place and definitely no traction. Let’s move forward, not backward.
Reflecting on this installation specifically, Shepard adds:
Art in public space, especially in place of an ad, disrupts the trance of conspicuous consumption that is perpetuated by the constant bombardment of advertising communication that suggests our value and values are determined by the things we purchase. Creative expression as an alternative to advertising or even a critique of advertising gives us a wider and invigorated perspective, as well as an understanding that communication can go two ways.
So let's move forward with boldness and love, towards a future with many perspectives, and none of them hate.