As some people may know, I’m an advocate of immigration policy reform. The United States is a relatively new country that was founded by immigrants and for years welcomed immigrants. When creating the art inspired by Neil Young’s cover of Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” I wanted to comment on the current attitudes toward immigration and highlight a lost verse from the song. That verse goes:
As I went walkin’ I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me
There is humor and profound commentary in that verse. Woody Guthrie was a champion of the the least powerful people in society and pointed out class inequality and abuse of power. Some people called Guthrie “socialist”, I call him compassionate.
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Here are to 2 documents regarding my Civil Case that I feel are important to share. Both documents are public records and the blacked out sections are there to protect personal and private information of mine and other parties in the case. Once again thank you for your continued support.
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First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through this difficult time. Your thoughts, actions, and good will, have made a significant impact on my ability to move forward and close this chapter of my life. I am very grateful to my family, friends, fans, and supporters.
I accept full responsibility for violating the Court’s trust by tampering with evidence during my civil case with the Associated Press, which, after my admitting to engaging in this conduct, led to this criminal case by the Southern District of New York. I accept the Judge’s sentence and look forward to finally putting this episode behind me. My wrong-headed actions, born out of a moment of fear and embarrassment, have not only been financially and psychologically costly to myself and my family, but also helped to obscure what I was fighting for in the first place— the ability of artists everywhere to be inspired and freely create art without reprisal.
I entered into litigation with the AP because I believe in Fair Use and I wanted to protect the rights of all artists. The Obama HOPE poster was created and distributed by a belief in what Obama could do for this country and my hope that I could inspire others to thought and action. Making money was never a part of the equation. As funds came in, I used them to create more posters and stickers and make donations to the Obama campaign. Most of the remaining proceeds were given to causes I support and believe in from the ACLU to Feeding America.
I believed, and still believe, that I had a very strong Fair Use case, which I could have prevailed. There was no intent to deceive on my part at the outset. When I discovered that the photo I had referenced was indeed the one the AP argued it was and not the one I thought I had used, I was embarrassed and scared to admit they were right and I was wrong even though it would not have had a material bearing on my case. Not amending the record was a big mistake and short-sighted. My actions damaged my ability to proceed effectively with my case and allowed the AP to focus on my credibility. I regret my actions every day and those who know me well know it is out of character.
Throughout my artistic career I have seen art as a powerful tool of political speech and social commentary and I try to use my art to stimulate a constructive dialogue. I believe in intellectual property rights and the rights of photographers, but I also believe artists need latitude to create inspired by real world things, just as news organizations need to use exception to copyright in order to report the news. The ability for an artist to creatively and conceptually transform references from reality is essential to their artistic commentary on the realities of the world. If artists find that freedom curtailed, it is not just artists, but all of us, who will lose something critically important.
The damage to my own reputation is dwarfed by the regret I feel for clouding the issues of the Fair Use case. I let down artists and advocates for artist’s rights by distracting from the core Fair Use discussion with my misdeeds. The decision today will, I hope, mark an ending to what, for me, has been a deeply regrettable chapter. But the larger principles at stake—Fair Use and Artists’ Freedom—are still in jeopardy, and I hope we will remain vigilant in depending on the Freedom of Expression.
Gordon Wayne Roberts created the tag Stay High 149, combined it with a smoking, halo-adorned stick man he borrowed from The Saint television show and changed the face of graffiti. It’s hard to imagine a trip through the subway system in early 70′s without seeing his name a dozen times. Changing to his secondary alias, voice of the ghetto, around 1974 , ,he introduced the world to two and three toned markers that spewed rainbows of psychedelic cool. After a 25 year disappearance , a time during which many assumed him dead, he reappeared at a graff show in 2000 and soon launched a comeback that gave a new generation a chance to know and love his work. His tags had the rarest combination of style and meaning I’ve ever witnessed . High Maintenance is about paying back one of the most inspirational , yet humble cats to ever wield a marker. His spirit and legacy has touched every era of a culture that’s blown up world wide. The artists who so generously donated their work for this benefit are giving their collective thanks to a man who transcended graffiti culture and in time be remembered as an American Folk Hero. For more information please visit www.dirtypilot.com or http://www.12ozprophet.com/news/stay_high_149-benefit-on-dirty_pilot
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The Public Trust Presents
Editioned Works By Shepard Fairey
Saturday, September 15, 2012 , 6-10 PM
September 15-October 20, 2012
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The Public Trust is pleased to present Printed Matters, a solo exhibition featuring editioned work of renowned artist Shepard Fairey. Printed Matters, is a continuous series of exhibitions, which focuses on the importance of printed material in Fairey’s art. Each exhibition highlights this significance by incorporating a variety of Shepard’s printed material; including serigraphs on paper, editions on wood, editions on metal, and fine art collage; with new works added for each venue, making each Printed Matters exhibition a unique experience. Beginning in 2010, the Printed Matters concept was first presented in Los Angeles and its next installment will exhibit in Dallas, Texas at The Public Trust. The exhibition will be on view from September 15-October 20, 2012.
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Hey sports fans and LGBT equality fans – Shepard donated a few prints to this event. Check it out…
Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager Brian Burke, Philadelphia Flyers Scout Patrick Burke, and California Attorney General Kamala Harris will be honored on September 20th in Los Angeles for their courageous work promoting respect for all athletes, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity through their organization, You Can Play, as featured on HBO, ESPN, USA Today and in the New York Times. Few efforts are more noteworthy than the work done by these men to make everyone equal in the world of sports.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris will also be honored for her work protecting homeowners and her unflagging leadership on LGBT equality. Attorney General Harris will be addressing guests fresh from her primetime speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Additionally, a silent auction will also be held which includes Shepard Fairey prints, autographed merchandise and VIP ticket pages from over a dozen professional sports teams including the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Maple Leafs; a roundtrip air and hotel package donated by Air Canada and Ritz Carlton Toronto; and fashion merchandise designed by Michael Kors.
Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
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SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS presents
A Group Exhibition Curated By Pedro Alonzo
Opening Reception: Friday, September 7th • 8PM – 11PM
Exhibition Dates: September 8 – October 6, 2012
featuring artwork by Liz Baca, Gabriella Davi-Khorasanee, Dzine, Igor Jovic, Simone Lueck, Chris Mosier, Kai Regan, Dominique Renee, Jamel Shabazz, Mickalene Thomas, and Monika Zbijowska.
Nailed is inspired by the 2011 publication titled Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine. Photographers from around the world were commissioned to document nail artists, clientele, and salon owners in their respective cities. The photographs that best represent the diversity of this personal and customized form of expression are presented in the publication, along with a historical account of the history of nail art and adornment from the Ming Dynasty in China to the present. The project outlines the trends and techniques that have emerged with time and the relationships nail art culture fosters,both inside and outside salon walls.
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With the election coming up and a lot of misinformation circulating, I’m glad MoveOn has put out a humorous video drawing a distinction between Romney’s tax plan and Obama’s. Romney wants to give tax breaks the upper class and further burden the middle class while Obama wants to strengthen the middle class. Income relative to inflation has grown steadily for the top 1% since Reagan and declined or remained flat for the middle class. Romney wants that trend to continue… I don’t!
Henry Rollins has been a hero of mine since I got into Black Flag in 1984. Henry is a role model in his amazing taste and output in music, his political engagement, his monumental work ethic, and his social consciousness. Henry tours a ton and stays very aware of the world. Back before the 2008 recession started, Henry had an an editorial segment on his TV show where he said “the president says the fundamentals of the economy are strong…I say start learning Chinese”. Henry’s new tour is called CAPITALISM and I’m sure he will have a lot of wise, funny, and maybe prophetic things to say. I was given the honor by Henry of illustrating his concept for the tour, him as a beaten-down Uncle Sam. I have a few of the prints available on my site signed by both me and Henry. The rest will be available on Henry’s tour which everyone should see. Pick a print up before the American brand of capitalism crumbles under the weight of its own ego.
18 x 24 inch screen print signed by Shepard and Henry. Edition of 1200. Only 200 units to be sold on OG.com $55. Limit 1 per person/household.