2019. Edition of 89
30” x 41” (76 x 104cm)
Screen-print on 100% cotton archival paper
Signed and numbered in pencil
“Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent” co-curator Pedro Alonzo’s statement on “Rose Shackle”: Frequently used in Fairey’s work, roses represent more than decorative elements. Regularly central to the action of the scene or included as key design elements, the rose is invoked as a resilient species, representing an organic sense of beauty and natural strength.
Enlarged and consuming the full expanse of the print, the rose radiates energy from within and stands upright despite the shackle and chain that binds its stem. The artist humanizes the message of rising above oppressive circumstances by including an oversized drop of blood that hangs but does not yet fall, from the protruding thorn. Acting as a metaphor for an individual or society-at-large, who has endured and preserved in the face of adversity, Fairey positions the rose as a surrogate rendering of the activist spirit that guides his artistic career.