Feathered Bastard

Shepard Fairey, Zack de la Rocha, Ernesto Yerena Collaborate on Immigration Reform Posters

What do you get when Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster and the artist behind the "Obey Giant" phenom, puts his noggin together with those of Rage Against the Machine/One Day as a Lion frontman Zack de la Rocha and L.A. artist Ernesto Yerena? You get some fresh, socially conscious agitprop that's part Russian constructivist propaganda, part '70s Chicano poster art, part now.

Yerena will be in town along with Zack de la Rocha for the big May 2, anti-Arpaio "Walk for Respect," beginning at the Wells Fargo Building in downtown Phoenix at 9 a.m. and ending at Joe's notorious Estrella Jail, where immigrant mothers are kept from their children, and where they are regularly abused by Joe's guards. You'll recall I put up a video of Yerena and De la Rocha the other day along with a chilling letter from the women of Estrella Jail pleading for help from the outside world. Yerena e-mailed me these images in turn, prints of which are being sold to support the immigration reform movement.

These images are currently being highlighted on Fairey's Obey Giant site, with messages from both Fairey and De la Rocha explaining why they support immigrant rights and immigration reform.There are free downloads of the images, and Yerena tells me prints will go on sale soon at cimarrones.org.  Similarly, Yerena created a poster of De la Rocha that's up on ernestoyerena.com. Signed by both Yerena and De la Rocha, the limited edition of 80 has alrady sold out. They went for $100 a pop, with proceeds benefiting the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

I've long suggested to anyone who would listen that the Phoenix art community should do its own anti-Joe, pro-immigration art show. Already, there's some really dope stencil art, poster art, photography, film, and mixed media that could be part of such an exhibition. If the gallery owners of the local arts district can't make it happen for whatever reason, maybe the activists and the artists themselves could get something going. I for one would go to it. I'd probably buy some of the art. And I doubt I'd be the only one.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons