Glendale Library, Arts & Culture and ReflectSpace Gallery will present “Peace is Radical,” a solo exhibition by renowned street artist and activist Shepard Fairey.
“Peace is Radical” features works addressing a range of topics, including creative empowerment, the importance of democracy, race and gender equality, environmental justice, and, of course, peace and harmony. Almost all of these art pieces utilize screen printing. This versatile graphic medium can be used to produce high-end art or multitudes of prints that can be disseminated liberally. Fairey uses screen printing in both ways and finds it to be an incredibly empowering and democratic medium. A section in the “Peace is Radical” exhibition will display a series of the screens he has used to print his art.
“I titled this show ‘Peace is Radical’ because humanity seems to be in a perpetual state of conflict,” said Fairey in a statement. “Peace requires us to pursue harmony with thoughtful vigilance. I’m a pacifist. I believe in solutions to disagreements that avoid violence. We are an intelligent species capable of cooperation and solving problems without violence. When I look at humanity in general, most people want to live in peace. The majority of my art focuses on issues of justice, and an outcome of improved justice is a more equal, fair and peaceful society. Through my art, I want to remind people of the equal humanity of all people, regardless of their race, religion, nation, or culture. There is no us versus them; there is only us. The goal of the art in ‘Peace is Radical’ is to encourage us to see ourselves in others, and to strive for health and peace for humanity and the planet that sustains us.”
Fairey has designed a limited-edition library card for Glendale Library, Arts & Culture that will be available at all Glendale Library branches through the run of the exhibit, while supplies last.
As a contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, and founder of OBEY Clothing and creative agency, Fairey gained notoriety with the creation of the “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” sticker in 1989 that later evolved into the OBEY GIANT art campaign. In 2008, his portrait of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama became an internationally recognized emblem of hope. He is known for the “We the People” campaign debuted during the 2017 Women’s Marches worldwide. Fairey has painted more than 135 public murals, become one of the most sought-after and provocative artists globally, changing the way people converse about art and view the urban landscape.
“Peace is Radical” will be on view from Jan. 20 through April 14 at the ReflectSpace Gallery, inside Glendale Central Library located at 222 E. Harvard St. in Glendale. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ReflectSpace and PassageWay Galleries are curated by Ara and Anahid Oshagan. Free parking with validation is available at the Marketplace parking structure located directly across from the Harvard entrance of Central Library.
Fairey was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Fairey became passionate about art at an early age and went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Fairey’s stickers, guerilla street art presence and public murals are recognizable globally. His works are in the permanent collections of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and many others.
Fairey has painted nearly 135 large-scale murals across six continents worldwide. More information from his career can be found at obeygiant.com.
First published in the January 20 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.