MAYDAY is simultaneously a call for heightened awareness and a celebration of the rebirth embodied in revolutionary movements.
With energy and urgency befitting the title MAYDAY, Shepard Fairey captures the radical spirit of his subjects, using portraiture to celebrate the artists, musicians and political activists he most admires. Says Fairey, 'These people I'm portraying were all revolutionary, in one sense or another. They started out on the margins of culture and ended up changing the mainstream. When we celebrate big steps that were made in the past, it reminds us that big steps can be made in the future.'
In Fairey's mind, the persistence of difficulties in the political, environmental, economic, and cultural arenas points to the definition of Mayday as a distress signal: 'By now we thought we would be in post-Bush utopia, but we're still having to call attention to these problems.' Like any mayday call, however, the sounding of the alarm also brings hope for help on the way. 'If we stay silent, there's no hope,' Fairey muses. 'But if we make noise, if we put our ideas out there, then maybe we can make a change like the people in the portraits have done.' 168 pages, Hardcover, 9 1/2'' x 12 1/4'' (241 x 311 mm) 134 color illustrations.