These prints, "Just Angels Rising" and "Just Future Rising," are variations of the art I created for the Time "VOTE" cover just before the 2020 election. At the time, I wanted to address the very unique situation we were in as a country as we faced the Covid-19 pandemic, unrest around police brutality and racial discrimination, voter suppression, and intense political division. We are still facing all of those things, though the development of Covid vaccines has significantly improved public safety and benefitted the fight to end the pandemic. In this illustration, the usually clear-cut rebel symbol of a bandana covering a face takes on a different meaning during Covid, becoming an emblem of safety, respect for one's fellow citizens, and a sign that the wearer believes in science.
The updated images on the bandana symbolize an activist's aspiration for a more just future for all. The future is in part shaped by voting, but not voting alone. How we express our ideals and spend our money in alignment with our ideals helps to shape the future also. Anti-democracy forces are pushing voter suppression, so voting while you still can is essential. The future of our democracy… and our world is in our hands!
The subject of the portrait is my former co-worker Marin Takeshita who is Japanese. With the rise of hate crimes against Asians during Covid, Marin, and I thought it was important for proceeds from these prints to benefit the organization Stop AAPI Hate, which focuses on immigrants' rights, and remedies for racial and social injustice.
Just Angels Rising and Just Future Rising. 18 x 24 inches. Screen print on thick cream Speckletone paper. Original photo by Victoria Yarnish. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 450. $65.