ReflectSpace Gallery to Present ‘Peace is Radical’ by OBEY’s Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey's "Peace is Radical" solo exhibition at ReflectSpace Gallery graphic

Peace is Radical by Shepard Fairey

GLENDALE—Glendale Library, Arts & Culture and ReflectSpace Gallery will present “Peace is Radical” a solo exhibition by renowned street artist and activist, Shepard Fairey.

“Peace is Radical” features works addressing a range of topics, including creative empowerment, the importance of democracy, race and gender equality, environmental justice, and, of course, peace and harmony. Almost all of these art pieces utilize screen printing. This versatile graphic medium can be used to produce high-end art or multitudes of prints that can be disseminated liberally. Fairey uses screen printing in both ways and finds it to be an incredibly empowering and democratic medium. A section in the “Peace is Radical” exhibition will display a series of the screens he has used to print his art.

“I titled this show ‘Peace is Radical,’ because humanity seems to be in a perpetual state of conflict. Peace requires us to pursue harmony with thoughtful vigilance. I’m a pacifist. I believe in solutions to disagreements that avoid violence. We are an intelligent species capable of cooperation and solving problems without violence. When I look at humanity in general, most people want to live in peace,” said Fairey.

“The majority of my art focuses on issues of justice, and an outcome of improved justice is a more equal, fair, and peaceful society. Through my art, I want to remind people of the equal humanity of all people, regardless of their race, religion, nation, or culture. There is no us versus them; there is only us. The goal of the art in “Peace is Radical” is to encourage us to see ourselves in others, and to strive for health and peace for humanity and the planet that sustains us,” added the artist.

“At a time when the world is so deeply engaged in war—from Gaza, to Ukraine, to Armenia, to Ethiopia and many other places—having Shepard Fairey’s exhibit ‘Peace is Radical’ at ReflectSpace is a monumental event. It brings a message of peace and hope and engenders critical conversations about social justice in the world and our communities. Shepard has always used his visibility and platform as an artist to bring important conversations into the public sphere and this fits perfectly into the ReflectSpace gallery mission,” said Ara and Anahid Oshagan, Co-curators of ReflectSpace Gallery. 

Fairey has designed a limited-edition library card for Glendale Library, Arts & Culture that will be available at all Glendale Library branches through the run of the exhibit, while supplies last.

As a contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, and founder of OBEY Clothing and creative agency, Fairey gained notoriety with the creation of the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that later evolved into the OBEY GIANT art campaign. In 2008, his portrait of then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama became an internationally recognized emblem of hope. He is known for the “We the People” campaign debuted during the 2017 Women’s Marches worldwide. Fairey has painted more than 135 public murals, become one of the most sought-after and provocative artists globally, changing the way people converse about art and view the urban landscape.

“Peace is Radical” will be on view from January 20 through April 14 at the ReflectSpace Gallery, inside Glendale Central Library located at 222 East Harvard, Glendale, CA. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.. ReflectSpace and PassageWay Galleries are curated by Ara and Anahid Oshagan.  Free parking with validation is available at the Marketplace parking structure located directly across from the Harvard entrance of Central Library.

Shepard Fairey was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Fairey became passionate about art at an early age and went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1989 he created the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign, with imagery that has changed how people see art and the urban landscape.

Fairey’s stickers, guerilla street art presence, and public murals are recognizable globally. His works are in the permanent collections of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and many others.  

Shepard Fairey has painted nearly 135 large-scale murals across six continents worldwide.  More information from his career can be found online.

ReflectSpace is curated by Ara and Anahid Oshagan and is an inclusive exhibition gallery designed to explore and reflect on social justice issues, human rights violations and genocides through the arts. Immersive in conception, ReflectSpace is a hybrid space that is both experiential and informative, employing art, technology, and interactive media to reflect on the past and present of Glendale’s communal fabric and interrogate current-day global human rights issues. ReflectSpace is housed in Glendale Central Library and online. 

Known as the “Jewel City,” Glendale is the fourth largest city of Los Angeles County. With a population of more than 200,000, Glendale is a thriving cosmopolitan city that is rich in history, culturally diverse, and offers nearly 50 public parks, and easy access to a municipal airport. It is the home to a vibrant business community, with major companies in healthcare, entertainment, manufacturing, retail, and banking.  

Founded in 1907, the Glendale Library, Arts & Culture Department includes eight neighborhood libraries including the Brand Library & Art Center, a regional visual arts and music library and performance venue housed in the historic 1904 mansion of Glendale pioneer Leslie C. Brand, and the Central Library, a 93,000 square foot center for individuals and groups to convene, collaborate and create. The department also serves as the chief liaison to the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission which works to continually transform Glendale into an ever-evolving arts destination. Glendale Library Arts & Culture is supported in part through the efforts of the Glendale Library Arts & Culture Trust (GLACT). For more information visit the website, or contact Library, Arts & Culture at 818-548-2021 or via email at [email protected].

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS