Shepard Fairey, the graphic designer behind Barack Obama's iconic "Hope" posters, is showing his support for Occupy Wall Street protestors with an invitation to join demonstrations as they move uptown to Times Square on Saturday.
The invitation strikes up a 1960's, Black Power movement theme with an image of an African American woman wearing an Afro hairstyle. Underneath the woman, Fairey calls to "the Awake and Inspired" to join protestors:
...with music, performance and a message that the people of this country - not the banks, not the corporations - hold the true power.participate in a stunning moment expressing hope and a new vision for the future - and showing our solidarity with the people who have already been occupying Wall Street for weeks.
Editor of art blog Hyperallergic Hrag Vartanian underscores the significance of Fairey's design to WNYC by noting, "I think it’s really great that it’s an upward looking positive image, as well as it tries to tie together a little bit of the radicalism of the 60’s with today."
Back in 2008, Fairey vaulted onto pop culture phenomenon territory with his symbolic "Hope" image supporting then presidential candidate Barack Obama. Fairey discussed how the poster went viral and became the symbolic answer for many Americans who wanted to show their support:
I think what then happened was that there were a lot of people who were digging Obama but they didn't have any way to symbolically show their support. Once there was an image that represented their support for Obama then that became their Facebook image or their email signature or something they use on their MySpace page.
From the beginning, Occupy Wall Street protestors have creatively used posters to convey their frustrations and demands. Fairey's Times Square invitation could have the potential to be the new face uniting all protestors' messages.
Take a look at the powerful signs we've seen below: