The “Endless Power” poster is about a few things… power, wishful thinking, truth in advertising, and the environment.
I designed this print to feel like a vintage ad celebrating the abundance of America and the bright future of the American Dream. A lot of shrewd advertising has been created to suggest that things we want are also good for us and society. Perfect examples are the ads celebrating the health benefits of liquor and cigarettes. My inclusion of the badge stating “with lung tonic” is a humorous nod to the absurd health claims historically made for harmful products. The claim that petrol provides an unlimited future is a snapshot of the overly-optimistic wish that oil is unlimited. Though oil is finite, our reliance on it is so extreme that the power wielded by those who control oil is virtually unlimited, a situation that inspired the title ‘Endless Power”. Oil and gas companies and the car manufacturers who profit heavily from gas powered engines used their power and influence to overturn a zero emissions law in the state of California, effectively delaying electric cars arriving on the market accessibly for ten plus years. It is dangerous for an industry to have that much power. Scientists hired by fossil fuels corporations represent the minority of the scientific community who claim oil stocks are endless and that oil and gas don’t contribute to climate change. These are the same scientists who, if paid, would claim that smoking cures asthma or gas fumes are a cure-all lung tonic.
Though oil may have originally seemed to be endless, we now know the world’s oil reserves will run out eventually. Estimates range from 10 years to 200 until accessible oil is depleted. The oil was formed by natural geological processes which occurred over millions of years. Oil consumption presently exceeds 25 billion barrels a year and demand continues to spiral upward, out of control. The outcome is inevitable.
In the 21st Century we rely on oil and gas for transport – cars, ships, aircraft – as well as a lot of electrical power. Our lifestyle cannot survive without oil and gas, and when the supply runs out, the great engine of Western civilization will be in trouble. We are heading for an event that will be remembered as one of the great disasters of human history, and life is going to get harder for everyone unless we cultivate renewable alternatives.
Click for more
Amanda and I along with a few of the Obey crew went to see Black Sabbath last night. I was able to do the tee for the tour crew so we got to say hello to Ozzy and watch the show from the stage. The band sounded great and I lost myself in head-banging world for a while, only to look to my left and see Sen Dog from Cypress Hill rocking out. It was cool to say hi to him since I’m a big Cypress Hill fan too. Special thanks to Big Dave for making all the arrangements for our VIP access! Also thanks to Jon Furlong for the great pics. Catch Sabbath if you can!-Shepard
Click for more
My friend Zoltron from Sticker Robot is always down to support the activism and causes I believe in and I’m very grateful we have shared ideals. He has printed these stickers to benefit HonortheTreaties.org. We believe in empowerment and communication through art, and if you do too, pick up a sticker or t-shirt because the proceeds go to support a native artist. Thanks for caring.
Blondie guitarist and primary songwriter Chris Stein and I became friends when I was working on a portrait of Debbie Harry for my MAYDAY show in 2010. Chris studied photography at SVA in NYC and has an amazing body of work. We talked about doing a collaboration and this print of Joan Jett from 76 or 77 is the result.
Chris had an opening of his photography at the Morrison Hotel gallery at the Sunset Marquis and Joan happened to be in town. We all got together in Debbie Harry’s hotel room and signed the prints. It was pretty surreal for me because Blondie and Joan Jett are two of the earliest bands whose records I bought . Check out the other photo from 76 or 77 of Joan and Debbie from the same evening as the shot of Joan I illustrated from. It was a great time in music.
If you missed Chris’ show at the Sunset Marquis, you can check out the amazing photos of his friends and contemporaries here . You can also view and purchase Chris Stein’s work at morrisonhotelgallery.com.
All of the Joan Jett The Runaway prints are signed by me, Chris, and Joan, but some have a slightly bent corner due to being shipped to New York and back. If you don’t want to risk getting one of these we will have some APs for sale too but they will only be signed by me.
Blondie has a new album in the works and will be touring with X this fall which is sure to be amazing. Check out www.blondie.net for info.
Click for more
Jonathan Levine Gallery opened a temporary space in The Chelsea district of NYC, to present 10 Years of the Wooster Collective 2003 – 2013, a group exhibition curated by Marc and Sara Schiller. There were over 50 local and international artists featured. Here are some highlights of the gallery and the happenings throughout the night. Enjoy!!
Click for more
The crew and I headed out to NY for the Wooster Collective 10th Anniversary Show and did a mural over in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. The wall is near where I did my E Pluribus Venom show, and Jonathan Levine was kind enough to help facilitate the 26×46 foot beautiful brick wall right by the York St. subway stop (Jay & York Street). I wanted to retain the character of the brick, so I just stained it a little darker and then painted on top of the stain. We had good weather so it went pretty quickly. WK Interact and Pat Miller stopped by to say hi as well as my RISD pals from Urban Folk Art, Adam and Jason. Thanks to Z Bomit, Kyle, Nic, Jon, and Dan and JLV Staff for their help!
Click for more
The Not Great Men print was inspired by the Gang of Four song of the same name from their album “Entertainment”.. Gang of Four are a great band musically and lyrically with many of their songs tackling subjects like consumption, capitalism, obsession with power, exploitation, narcissism, and class structure. The song Not Great Men has long struck me as a wise indictment of the contradiction or paradox of leadership and power. It takes assertive, charismatic people with self-confidence to be leaders, but on the dark side, leaders are often power hungry, manipulative, and abusive of their power. Once someone has power it is not only possible for them to shape history for better or worse, but it is also easier for them to manipulate historical portrayal of their role in their favor. I think Gang of Four’s point with Not Great Men is to suggest that power is not inherently great and should be feared as much as revered. The world is often shaped by those who are not great men. On a personal note, I think a larger percentage of women in public leadership roles would bring more diplomacy, fairness, and benevolence. Of course, that is a generalization because one can cite Margaret Thatcher and Imelda Marcos as brutal women. Regardless of gender, the public needs to be less seduced by, and in awe of, power… and leaders need more checks and balances to their power.
Blondie guitarist and primary songwriter Chris Stein has an opening of his photography tonight at the Morrison Hotel gallery at the Sunset Marquis. He has amazing photos of his friends and contemporaries. He and I are collaborating on a poster of Joan Jett that he took on Blondie’s first trip to LA. Look out for that soon with at least some being signed by me, Chris, and Joan. This show is not to be missed!