I’ve been a big fan of the band Franz Ferdinand since they first hit the scene in 2003. Stylistically, Franz mixes a pinch of glam rock, a nice serving of post-punk and a bit of dance-punk to create a sound that is irresistibly infectious. The band is undeniably stylish in their fashion and their album artwork which is frequently inspired by Russian Constructivism, one of my biggest inspirations as well. The lyrics of singer Alex Kapranos are witty, charming, and often insightful about human nature. Franz Ferdinand is a band of style and substance. I met the Franz guys at a gig in L.A. a few years ago and mentioned I’d be excited to collaborate if the opportunity should arise. That moment has arrived, and it coincides with a mutual desire to block a certain demagogue from ever arriving at the White House. Until now, Franz Ferdinand has never been overtly political, even though they have been playfully provocative with gender-bending on a song like “Michael.” I’m incredibly proud that Alex reached out to me to collaborate on an image for possibly the bands’ first overtly political song “Demagogue.” I listened to the song and considered my thoughts about Trump as a sociopath and a destructive force in politics and society. 1984, with Big Brother and double-speak, came to mind and served as inspirations for the image. Alex Kapranos wrote a fantastic statement to accompany “Demagogue,” to which I need to add nothing. Listen to the song, look at the art, and search your own conscience for where you stand on the politics of fear and division versus the politics of hope and inclusion. If you feel as I do, that Trump is terrible for America and the rest of the world, vote and speak your mind. Every act of moral courage makes a difference. Thanks for caring! – Shepard
UPDATE: SOLD OUT (10/18)
18 inches x 24 inches Screen Print on cream Speckle Tone paper. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 500. $60. Available 10/18/16 at 10am PST on ObeyGiant.com in PRINTS. Purchase limit of one per person/household.
Alex Kapranos’ statement:
A demagogue is motivated by ego and self-interest
A demagogue amplifies prejudices and fears, whipping up a fury of hatred to distract from their lack of reasoned argument or considered thought.
A demagogue makes hollow promises. To return a nation to a fantasy state of greatness that never existed. To solve everyone’s problems.
A demagogue offers no evidence to support the promises they make.
A demagogue is not interested in the future and prosperity of the nation they wish to command, only in their own power.
A demagogue questions and undermines the validity of the democratic process, claiming it to be rigged against them.
A demagogue is a bully.
A demagogue is a narcissist, prone to comically exaggerated acts of vanity.
A demagogue is often a sexual predator, abusing their power to satisfy their lust.
A demagogue has no interest in facts or truth, lying easily and freely to meet their desires.
A demagogue preys upon divisiveness: that ethnic or social group is our enemy, so lets rise together against them.
A demagogue has no regard for the vulnerable in society. They are to be derided, rather than cared for.
A demagogue is hot tempered and irrational, prone to capricious violent outbursts triggered by the slightest puncture of their gossamer thin skin
A demagogue uses any means to suppress their opponents, threatening to lock them up, then once in power making them physically disappear.
A demagogue suppresses any voice that dare speak out against them. The free press is an early target, undermining their credibility in their rise to power then removing any voice of dissent once power has been seized.
A demagogue is consumed by ambition, insatiable like the thirst of a rabid dog.
A demagogue is ultimately insecure, with serious psychological issues. Emotionally unwell. Unstable.
A demagogue is a threat to their own nation.
The more powerful the nation, the greater the threat to the entire planet.