“My “Target Exceptions” print addresses the challenges of both visiting and becoming a resident of the United States for many people. As it turns out, there are various target criteria that make a person an ideal candidate to immigrate, but most people who might long to fulfill the “American Dream” are exceptions to the target qualifications, especially considering the attitudes and attempted policies of the current administration.
Resident status in the U.S. is hypothetically granted for four main reasons: family ties, employment, status as a refugee, and to promote diversity.
In other words, it will most likely be family or business/employment connections that are the most viable route to a U.S. visa considering that refugees and people who would expand diversity seem altogether unwelcome in the U.S. at the moment. I’ll be donating proceeds of this print to the ACLU to support their advocacy work for immigrant communities.” – Shepard Fairey
The “Welcome Visitor” diptych is an exploration of the contradictions between America’s tourism industry and it’s immigration policies; the uncomfortable collision of economic opportunism and xenophobia. We’ve probably all seen the Schoolhouse Rock! about Ellis Island and “The Great American Melting Pot,” but we’re now witnessing the fear surrounding the scapegoating of Latinos and Muslims.
In “Welcome Visitor,” I highlight the immigration ban and internment of Japanese people including Japanese-American citizens during World War II when the Japanese were seen as the enemy. I hope that the level of relative comfort most people feel towards Japanese people presently puts in perspective the irrational and disproportionate fear of Muslims and Latinos that is going on now.
I understand that immigration is a complex issue, but a basic belief in the humanity and dignity of all people is not that complicated and should be what is paramount in deciding our policies around both immigration and tourism.
The fear around immigration is not based on fact. Crime rates are lower for immigrants than they are for native-born citizens. – Shepard Fairey
The Fossil Factory image is an illustration I made based on a former factory in the 13th district of Paris which is now used for classrooms at a university. The architecture of the factory is fantastic and serves as a reminder of what monolithic and impressive things were built by, and in service of, fossil fuel powered industries. Those industries still have tremendous power economically, but we now know that not only are those fuel sources finite but that using them is terrible for climate change and therefore the eco-systems that sustain life on our planet. I’d like to see more fossil factories turned into schools while we subsidize research into renewable energy solutions rather than the current practice of subsidizing the fossil fuel industries for billions as they damage the environment. Please read Naomi Klein’s THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING to better understand the conflict between economic interests and climate change. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this print will go to 350.org to support their efforts to fight climate change. Thanks for caring. – Shepard
The “Wake Up!” print is a simple but urgent plea for all of us to activate our moral compasses and speak up. For those who have been silent, it is time to open our eyes, our minds, and speak out for human rights and human dignity.
The title and text in the print were inspired in part by a lyric from punk band T.S.O.L.’s song “Silent Majority.” I worked on their just released album “The Trigger Complex” so I’ve been listening to their music a lot lately. I support Planned Parenthood and will be making a donation to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund to stand with the millions of people Planned Parenthood provides care for each year. – Shepard