John Lewis is a hero of mine because of his civil rights activism and dedication to justice throughout his life’s work, both in the streets and in politics. Rep. Lewis worked as a grassroots organizer and was beaten by police while marching for racial equality, but also campaigned, was elected to congress, and served as a lawmaker for 40 years. John Lewis is a role model for using what I call “the inside/outside strategy,” which entailed working in whatever zone necessary, outside the system or inside, and using his powers as an organizer and communicator to make the nation better.
There is no better example of dedication to justice and civic engagement than Rep. John Lewis. With the election approaching and the rise of voter suppression strategies utilized by the Republicans, I felt an image of John Lewis reminding people that the hard-fought progress on voting rights and equality must be maintained vigilantly when threatened, would be an important message to send before Nov. 3. I also wanted to symbolically thank John Lewis for all his service to humanity.
My friend Steve Schapiro took some amazing photos of John Lewis in 1963 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and others in Selma, Alabama, that served as the reference imagery for this art piece. Steve and I met at an Equal Justice Initiative event and first collaborated on an image called Voting Rights Are Human Rights.
When John Lewis made his cancer diagnosis public, Steve suggested that we collaborate to honor him. I was thrilled by that idea and wrote a letter to John Lewis proposing the image of him. He gave the project his blessing but sadly passed away shortly before the art was completed. I know he was a humble person, but I hope he’d be proud that his actions have given inspiration and fuel to me and millions of others. Thanks for the fire, John Lewis!I donated John Lewis – Good Trouble to Artists for Biden (October 2–8), an art fundraiser hosted on Platform Art to help ensure the next President and Vice President elected are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and also that Democrats across the country have the resources they need to win. Visit platform.art to register for early access to the sale and artistsforbiden.org to learn more about the Biden Victory Fund. And don’t forget to vote!- Shepard
In less than two months, the United States will elect the next President and Vice President. More than 100 artists are raising funds to help make sure they are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and to ensure that Democrats across the country have the resources they need to win.
Artists for Biden is an online-only sale of works by leading contemporary artists to support the Biden Victory Fund. Register for early access to the sale that includes donations by Carol Bove, Cecily Brown, Sam Gilliam, Jenny Holzer, KAWS, Ed Ruscha, Tavares Strachan, Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, Shepard Fairey and others. Artists for Biden features donations by a diverse group of more than one hundred artists.
The Biden Victory Fund is a joint fundraising committee authorized by Biden for President, the Democratic National Committee, and forty-seven State Democratic Parties to put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the best position to beat Donald Trump and to ensure Democratic victories up and down the ballot. One hundred percent of proceeds from Artists for Biden will provide resources needed to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House and support other Democrats across the country in the lead up to Election Day. Featuring artists represented by a range of galleries, this sale is hosted on Platform.art, a new standalone website and initiative developed by David Zwirner to host online sales for industry peers and partners.