Just a couple of years after his then-ubiquitous and not-yet controversial poster of President Obama made the cover, Shepard Fairey is back at it again for Time‘s Person of the Year edition. The artist has designed the cover for the annual issue, wherein this time they picked “The Protestor”, once again skipping an individual person and instead focus more of a concept. If you’re familiar with Fairey’s work, you’ll of course recognize it immediately, with his familiar propaganda-esque illustration and coloring. Christopher Knight at the LA Times thinks the match between Fairey and Time is a perfect fit, though not at all in a good way, calling the Fairey a “designer dissident” and the only artist who “is really suitable for the job of creating the publication’s inevitably ironic cover.” Knight gets more critical from there. Here’s a bit:
The style oozes cozy, collectible nostalgia. On the cover of Time, the schmaltzy result trivializes the portentous power — and authentic potential — of the “Arab spring,” Occupy Wall Street and whatever might-or-might-not be breaking now in Russia. Questioning authority never looked more corporate and conventional.
Criticism aside, let’s just hope Fairey made sure to get the photo rights behind the illustration more squared away this time around.