Radical reading room: Shepard Fairey at Glendale Central Library

Architecture & Design · Visual arts

Well we love libraries. And don’t you sense they are coming back? It was wonderful, the other night, to see scores of people milling about, chatting, in the grand-scaled lobby of Glendale Central Library … a safe public space. The reason for their visit was “Peace is Radical“, a solo exhibition by renowned street artist and activist, Shepard Fairey, presented by Glendale Library, Arts & Culture and ReflectSpace an art gallery tucked right inside the library. It’s amazing, first, how very beautiful and arresting Shepard’s works are viewed side by side, but also, how well they integrated into the high-ceilinged, airy, library lobby space.

His work also looks so cool on street posters. I drove by this one the other day.

“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, which the artist considers to be an empowering and democratic medium.

In an artist’s statement, Fairey says,

“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.

The big bonus of attending the show? Get a “Peace is Radical” library card courtesy of the artist, warning: “while supplies last.”

Shepard Fairey “Peace is Radical | ReflectSpace Gallery, Glendale Central Library | Jan 20 – Apr 14 2024

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