AMERICA’S FAVORITE

America’s Favorite by Shepard Fairey

Standard Station by Ed Ruscha

I have been an environmental advocate and supporter of clean energy and conservation for many years, leading me to make several art pieces dealing with these topics as well.  In my “May Day” show I wanted to address current issues and also celebrate some of my favorite artists, musicians, and activists from the past.  With my flag series I was referencing Jasper Johns, other images reference Warhol and Rauschenberg. This “America’s Favorite” gas station image was created before the BP spill as a way to comment on our addiction to oil and suggest that it should be in its twilight, but also to pay tribute to artist Ed Ruscha and his beautiful “Standard Station” series of paintings and prints.   There is an emotional sense of nostalgia and Americana conjured by an iconic gas station, maybe even a sense of freedom and exploration.  However, we all know that nostalgia can be the enemy of progress.  Oil extraction is a dead end.  I was just in Portland Oregon for two weeks, and that city is proof that people can change their energy and consumption habits. Yes, there was a bit of self-righteousness to some of the environmentalism, but withstanding that, the place overall is very healthy, friendly, and conscientious.  Aside from not being able to get Equal for my coffee (I’m type 1 diabetic, and sugar is bad for me) I did not find my lifestyle at all compromised by Portland’s environmentalism.  In the wake of the BP spill the “America’s Favorite” gas station image is even more relevant.  I will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this print to the NRDC… Natural Resources Defense Council.  They are concerned with changing policy to achieve environmental and energy solutions, not just putting a band-aid on existing problems.  Check them out at www.nrdc.org I will also be releasing a couple prints inspired by the Gulf of Mexico spill and will be donating to charities helping with the cleanup there.  Look out for those in coming weeks.  If you don’t know Ed Ruscha’s work check it out.  www.edruscha.com
Shepard Fairey

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