Shepard Fairey Provides A Spoonful of Sugar To Make The Politics Go Down
DJ/Artist Shepard Fairey was one of the headliners at the "Rebuild The Dream" event Thursday night at the NYC Town Hall put on by MoveOn.org. Van Jones launched his campaign to "rebuild the dream" that he believes was taken away from the middle class--but he made it clear to the audience that we would have fun doing it.
Fairey's opening DJ set and a performance by jazzy-eclectic rap band The Roots between Jones's rousing speeches formed the sugary goodness to the nasty socio-economic situation we find ourselves in. It's easy enough to place The Roots in a political event — the band has made appearances on The Colbert Report, a Spike Lee film and Dave Chappelle's Block Party — but Fairey's presence at the forefront is still somewhat new. He's famed for the "Hope" poster he made for the Obama campaign and has done commissioned political work since then. He became more active in the political sphere after Bush was re-elected in 2004 and has worked with MoveOn.org creating prints to sell for fundraising.
As for work on this particular event, Fairey says, "I do a lot of different charity events, but I really like what Van [Jones] has to say." Having recently become a new father, Fairey expressed his sense of a lack of time, and his intention to use that time align himself with folks that are doing it right, using his visual and musical talents to get the audience's attention and get them receptive to the next layer, which is almost always political. "Once it's gotten in [your head]," he says, "it's hard to get rid of."