Shepard Fairey - American Rage

Shepard Fairey - American Rage

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Artist : Shepard Fairey (OBEY)
Title : American Rage
Medium & Materials : Screenprint on cream Speckletone paper
Hand signed by Shepard Fairey

Size : 60x45cm - Limited Edition 550

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This “American Rage” print, based on a photo taken during the LA riots of spring 1992, is my second collaboration with photographer Ted Soqui. I was introduced to Ted’s work when I made an illustration based on one of his photos of an Occupy Wall Street protester. Ted has a long history of photographing activists and protests, which began in the aftermath of the “not guilty” verdicts on April 29, 1992, for the four officers who severely beat Rodney King. I remember at the time, 28 years ago, feeling enraged that such a blatant act of police brutality was going unpunished when it was clearly captured on video. It is heartbreaking to me how frequently similar acts of violence and abuse of power by law enforcement have gone unpunished, even when caught on camera. I don’t ever condone violence or looting, but I understand why LA erupted in riots and protests after the King verdict. When people feel that the American system has failed them over and over, things can reach a boiling point. The urge to protest injustice and the right to do so are legitimate. Looting is not legitimate. The LA riots were a tragic mixture. However, beware of those who try to conflate protest with “criminal agitation” or “inciting a riot.” When the system fails the people, it is nothing short of patriotic for the people to protest for a solution. Ted Soqui and I sign the “American Rage” print – Shepard