Time Person of the Year cover artwork by Shepard Fairey.
Street artist Shepard Fairey was chosen by Time Magazine’s editors to create their Person of the Year cover, nominated by the magazine as The Protester. The magazine which debuted on newsstands this month, features signature Shepard artistry with reds, yellows, and black tones, and a composite of 26 different photographs of protests from around the world.
According to an interview with Time, Shepard said, “These organic protest movements have arisen around the globe and a lot of it was fueled by social media, but it was a pervasive phenomenon. It wasn’t one specific movement but general unrest. I wanted to look for ideas to represent that.”
Ironically, Time had chosen Shepard to design their Person of the Year cover once before in 2008, which was a rendition of the Obama Hope poster that blew-up with the AP suing Shepard and vice versa. (Now, they are BFF’s and actually working on collaborations.)
Shepard used various scenes from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street and Moscow’s protestors as the background to illustrate that these are not isolated events, but global protests on a grand scale. His site, Obeygiant.com also offers up various downloadable posters that continue to fuel the fire through art.
“It makes me proud of idealism and a willingness to stand up for your beliefs,” said Fairey, who has been a vocal supporter of the Occupy movements this fall, visiting protests and creating art to fuel the movement. “There’s a fine line between people feeling threatened by rabble-rousers and people being inspired by those who stand up for a cause. I hope the cover conveys my idea that these are people around the world that are serious, but that they’re just people like everyone else.”