With my ICONS art show happening this weekend, it made sense to celebrate the musical and philosophical icon Joe Strummer, lead singer and lyricist of the Clash who are my all-time favorite band. Joe Strummer is a hero of mine for his music, lyrics, wit, compassion for the underdog, and stance against injustice. Joe is also known for the phrase “The Future is Unwritten,” which is a mantra I live by. As a teen I was fueled by the fury of punk, but Joe added heart and intellect to punk in a way that grew with me as I realized that anger without meaningful purpose is a dead end. I was honored to collaborate on this art with photographer Jenny Lens whose candid shots of the early Punk scene are amazing.
Here’s what Jenny has to say about the picture:
The Clash, Santa Monica Civic, March 4, 1980. No cameras allowed in the venue. I was seduced by three of the Clash road crew. Not all at once. They gave me onstage access without begging. Nice. I drove my fave, Topper’s roadie, Baker, for westside band errands. He later told me I was “a fair maiden.” Oh. Being on the guest list, I could shoot standing on the stage. I took this spontaneous photo of the FAB Joe Strummer backstage. Thank you Shep for finding the precise power and beauty in my photo. Joe’s expressive face. Which I see so often in my many amazing live Clash photos. I am always quoting “Know Your Rights” to others. I constantly remind them and myself “The future is unwritten.” My mottos pre-and-post-punk. Long Live The Clash and Joe Strummer!
A portion of proceeds will benefit The Joe Strummer Fund and Single Homeless Project in their aim of engaging artists and creatives with the experience of homelessness to create new and original music and media.
Joe Strummer – Know Your Rights. 18 x 24 inches. Screen print on thick cream Speckletone paper. Original Illustration based on a photograph by Jenny Lens. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 550. Comes with a Digital Certificate of Authenticity provided by Verisart. $70. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Joe Strummer Fund and Single Homeless Project. Available on Thursday, November 16th @ 10 AM PST at https://store.obeygiant.com. Max order: 1 per customer/household. International customers are responsible for import fees due upon delivery (Except UK orders under $160). ALL SALES FINAL.