Shepard Fairey’s TIME Magazine Cover Features Occupy LA Protester

Legendary street artist Shepard Fairey designed the “Person of the Year” cover of TIME magazine, but he had some help. The image of the protester was based on a picture taken by local photojournalist Ted Soqui. Unlike the Obama poster debacle, ths photo was fully licensed for use in Fairey’s artwork.

Soqui tells of shooting the photo on his blog:

I took the photo at a protest at the Bank of America building in downtown LA. There was a small group of protesters linking arms and making a human chain around several tents near the front of the building. I made a few wide angle photos, then realized a tight shot was going to be way better. There was only one photo where eye contact was made, and that’s the shot.

The woman in the photo is Highland Park resident* Sarah Mason. According to Soqui, she was a camper at the Occupy LA encampment in front of City Hall, and was arrested the same day the pic was taken, at the Nov. 17 protest at the Bank of America Tower.

* Some media outlets are reporting that Mason is actually a Highland, CA resident.