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Obey :; E pluribus venom : the art of Shepard Fairey

Fairey, Shepard ; Williams, Sarah Jaye ; Levine, Jonathan

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ISBN 10: 1584232951 / ISBN 13: 9781584232957
Published by Gingko Press, Corte Madera, CA, 2008
Condition: near fine Hardcover
From Owl & Company Bookshop (Calvello Books) (Oakland, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Gold folio (green spine) ; 129 p. : illus (chiefly color) ; 32 cm. Street art -- Exhibitions -- Modern Art -- Graffiti. Faint rubbing to page edge head and foot ; sans paperband, else a tight bright near fine (+) to fine (-) copy. Bookseller Inventory # 31070

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Obey :; E pluribus venom : the art of ...

Publisher: Gingko Press, Corte Madera, CA

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: near fine

Edition: 1st ed.

About this title


E Pluribus Venom collects a large body of work produced by Shepard Fairey and presented at the Jonathan Levine gallery during his massive exhibition in the summer of 2007. Serving as more than just an exhibition catalog, this book expounds upon themes presented in the show. The title E Pluribus Venom which translates Out of many, poison is derived from E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one) an early motto adopted by the U.S. Government which appears on U.S. currency. The artist s thesis is that many becoming one, or a loss of power and influence of the individual in favor of homogeny is a symptom of a society in decline. E Pluribus Venom is comprised of artworks designed to question the symbols and methods of the American machine and American dream and also celebrate those who oppose blind nationalism and war. Some of Fairey s works use currency motifs or a Norman Rockwell aesthetic to employ the graphic language of the subjects they critique. Other works use a blend of Art Nouveau, hippie, and revolutionary propaganda styles to celebrate subjects advocating peace.


E Pluribus Venom highlights many of his common themes, including the antiwar posters Greetings From Iraq: Enjoy a Cheap Holiday in Other People s Misery and Obey Bayonets, which combines silhouetted bayonets (borrowed from a well-known British World War I poster) with a peace sign in a flower collaged on top. Many of Fairey s images overtly and obliquely address war and peace, the environment and the economy. But this collection includes something unique to his oeuvre immense murals that co-opt the classic filigree motif of stock certificates and American currency. Here we find two installations juxtaposed, Two Sides of Capitalism: Good and Two Sides of Capitalism: Bad, each bearing political slogans. (One reads Obedience Is the Most Valuable Currency and In Lesser Gods We Trust ; the other reads Power to the People. Guess which one is good.) The funniest and most stinging piece in the collection is Proud Parents. With the slogan U.S. Treasury: Bringing Dreams to Life, it shows a 1950s-style mom and dad holding their newborn a shiny baby bomb. Fairey is certainly one vandal who has made good. --Steven Heller, New York Times, 12/7/08

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