“It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”
As promised last week, I would feature the awesome and truly gifted Shepard Fairey’s print, one his most recent pieces of the new year for “Poster of the week”. So here it is at long last, ready for me to show off the marvel that it is and can proudly say that I officially own a copy of such a prestigious print.
Back in early January Fairey was trickling teasers out and little snippets of the piece to be, leading me and many others to become hooked, awaiting the grand revelation that would become the “Sedation Pill”. Inspired by the Public Enemy album “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”, with the meaning there for you to either frantically decipher or create your own belief and ideology from. As with most Fairey creations, they leave you captivated with the level of detail and sub levels of depth, with you almost wanting there to be a hidden message amongst the designs. Its upto you the audience to believe what you want, with the “All seeing eye” (Illuminati symbolism) making an appearance again, as within many other creations. Its all ploys to draw you in, there is no conspiracy as many like to believe, its pure imagination and almost a device that makes you come back for more. Especially the soviet feel the prints always have, with the strong imagery and use of red, black and white, that’s why this print is special, its of a new breed reflecting a whole new colour palette, but still being recognisable of Fairey.
Stepping on from the message, which is down to you the audience to decipher, with my own personal take being how we the society are fed this “Sedation Pill” and almost expected to stay in line within the human life, pay your taxes, work, have a family, abide by the laws,we are almost fed this pill from birth. Almost hypnotized by what we see from the media, TV and celebrities, it allows an escape from the realities of human life.
I wanted to focus on how the colours build up the image, adding the levels of depth than the human eye can focus in on. With the addition of Gold and other gold variants, Fairey has managed to create a whole new feel from the iconic red giving a new breath of life (which it didn’t need) but just allows us to see how versatile his work can actually be. With it being capable of expanding out from the safeness of the original colours into new realms. One of the reason s why I was so adamant on purchasing this print, with it being such a new wave and a step aside from his usual workings, I was attracted at first sight, showing just how much of an impact that something so flat can have. And its not even a case of being flat 2D, the setting of depth amongst the colours allows the image to rise up and act almost as if its coming out at you.
Unlike the recent “Posters of the week”, this print had no real need of textures, I found as well, relying on the use of shapes to add a visual texture, especially with the ray lines across the woman’s face. Funny enough, through the technique of spray painting, which is a realm that I have little understanding, but would like to eventually, I found that the spray adds the secret texture. Brushing your hand across the surface of something so flat, you can instantly feel the raised levels beneath your finger tips, one of the many loves that comes with Screenprint you can actually feel the works ink, giving more of a desire than what you’d get from digital printing.
Overall, I have to say that any lover of art, whether its fine art, graphics or illustration, you can all feel a connection within the print. It combines so many elements and so much attraction, that you can’t help but want to stare at the print for hours, feel inspired in yourself and almost look it over and over again just to be sure that there isn’t some fine little detail or message that you may have missed.
Thank you Mr Fairey for your work, and may we continue to bear witness to such influential and inspiring masterpieces in the near future. For all of you that either haven’t heard of the man, or haven’t really seen much of his work then I’d advise you to strongly look him up, and become hooked yourself. Stay tuned as well folks, for next weeks “Poster of the week”, which I can say is a piece from the greatness that is Drew Millward, so stay focused!