I bought Bob Marley's Rastaman Vibrations shortly after I started skateboarding in 1984, purely because the only good skateboard ramp where I lived was called "The Rasta Ramp." I had mostly been listening to punk rock, but I was excited to discover reggae, which even more boldly embodied many of the same elements of social protest as punk but in a way that was much more palatable to my parents. I think my parents bought me Bob Marley and the Wailers records for every Christmas or birthday until I had accumulated their entire catalog. Bob Marley's music always cheered me up during my high school years of personal struggle. I'm always inspired by how steadfast and positive Bob was. I consider "Get Up Stand Up" one of the greatest protest songs of all time, evergreen in relevance, but Marley's entire catalog is powerful and enduring. These two prints,"Sun is Shining" and "Catch a Fire" are based on a beautiful photograph by Dennis Morris and inspired by Marley's music and ideas. Marley was sometimes fiery, sometimes joyful, sometimes contemplative, but always visionary and poetic. I love this intimate, thoughtful moment Dennis captured and I'm honored to translate it in my style. I'm glad I can hear stories of Dennis' first-hand interaction with Bob Marley.
Bob once told me: "you are a tropical plant, uprooted and replanted in a concrete soil; you know how strong you have to be to grow, Dennis?"
Sun is Shining
"When the sun is shining, take a look around; are you happy with the life you are living?" Bob had a way of saying things, then he would pause, then break into a smile and then look away.
Someone asked me recently, what Sid and Nancy were like, I replied: they were two plants that could not grow in the same pot; Shepard and I, we can be in the same pot, two different plants, one vision from opposite angles.
Shepard has brought a Rodin type quality to my Marley photo: the Thinker; this was what I was looking for; It is the etching for the sculpture, hence the collaboration.
SUN IS SHINING. 24 X 24 inches. Screen print on thick cream Speckletone paper. Original photo by Dennis Morris. Signed by Shepard Fairey and Dennis Morris. Numbered edition of 500. $95.