Appropriation is the common currency of artistic practice. Every new work of art builds upon the creative juices of predecessors. In "Greetings from Iraq," Fairey draws from a humble postcard from Yellowstone National Park that features one of the park's main attractions, the Old Faithful geyser. The artist inserts oil derricks, the desired natural resource, and arguably the true cause of the war, as well as camels in the background. The exploding stream of boiling water and vapor convert into an explosion in this piece. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense during the second Gulf War in the mid-2000s, promoted the strategy of "shock and awe." This tactic consisted of dropping heavy bomb loads across the country to demonstrate overwhelming power and formidable force to demoralize and defeat the Iraqi army. Ironically, the explosive power of the shock and awe military tactic has a similar appeal to the spectacular force of Old Faithful, the natural wonder. – Description written by co-curator Pedro Alonzo.
"Enjoy a cheap holiday on other people's misery," found at the bottom of the image, is a lyric from the 1977 song "Holiday in the Sun" by the Sex Pistols. Fairey, a fan of punk rock and the DIY culture, commonly inserts references to one of his favorite musical genres. The phrase refers to sending soldiers to foreign lands and the suffering of the local inhabitants. The lyrics recall the Vietnam War era anti-war slogan, "Join the army, travel the world, meet interesting people and kill them."
Greetings From Iraq. Serigraph on Coventry Rag, 100% Cotton Custom Archival Paper with hand-deckled edges. 30 x 41 inches. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 89. Comes with a certificate of authenticity. $900.