The man who famously created the Obama "Hope" poster (and those ubiquitous Andre the Giant stickers), artist Shepard Fairey, is in San Francisco this week executing two new murals as part of a series he's doing about five "abiding issues of our time," titled American Civics. The pieces, which will be released as limited edition serigraphs, are all based on photographs by photojournalist Jim Marshall, and the two being done as murals here in SF focus on the topics of voting rights and workers' rights.
One mural, being painted Tuesday and Wednesday at 453 Hayes Street (at Linden) depicts labor activist Cesar Chavez, based on a photo Marshall took of Chavez after he completed his 300-mile march to Sacramento in support of farmworkers' rights in 1966. "[Chavez] fought for the rights of people doing some of the most difficult work for some of the lowest wages so they could unionize and advocate for themselves to earn a dignified wage," says Fairey. "In my art piece, I included articles that reflected the struggles of people who are on the lowest rung of the economic ladder."
Fairey (and company) will be working on the mural from noon to sundown, today and tomorrow.
Then on Thursday and Friday, he'll move to 701 Alabama Street (at 20th), where he'll be painting a mural on the topic of voting rights, using a photo by Marshall of Fannie Lee Chaney from 1964, taken the day she found out that her son, James Chaney, and two friends died at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan at the age of 21 for registering African Americans to vote.
Fairey's SF appearances culminate with a public art opening on Saturday, August 13, at the San Francisco Art Exchange (458 Geary Street), where he'll be doing a meet-and-greet from 2 to 4 p.m.