Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey create critical artworks with The Skateroom in response to first 100 days of Donald Trump’s Presidency
27 April 2017, SAN FRANCISCO – Cutting edge contemporary art brand The Skateroom, is delighted to unveil two limited edition collections with internationally renowned artists Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey, in response to the first 100 days of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
The Skateroom invites contemporary artists to create limited edition artworks on skateboards. In doing so The Skateroom supports art institutions and non-profit projects that empower children through skateboarding and art.
Launching today, during Art Market in San Francisco (27 – 30 April 2017), The Skateroom has teamed up with contemporary Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei for the second time, to launch a limited edition deck of his influential artwork Study of Perspective: The White House.
Study of Perspective: The White House is an iconic example of a larger body of work by Ai Weiwei that melds art and activism, and is an overt critical response to the current political climate in the United States.
Study of Perspective, a series of images shot between 1995 and 2003, shows the artist flipping the finger against different buildings across the globe, either landmarks or symbols of authority. The gesture, captured using a snapshot aesthetic, confronts its viewer with a universal and concise statement of Ai Weiwei’s political opposition.
In addition to the launch of Ai Weiwei’s Study of Perspective: The White House, The Skateroom has collaborated with LA-based street artist, graphic designer and activist Shepard Fairey to create a limited edition series of decks also responding to the first 100 days of Donald Trump as President.
For this collaboration, Shepard Fairey has adapted one of his existing artworks; ‘No Future’, which denounces the hate-speech and propaganda delivered to an often uninformed or misinformed public. Shepard Fariey has been active in denouncing the antagonising and fearmongering vision of the new presidency through a poster campaign entitled “We The People” launched with the Amplifier Foundation on Donald Trump’s inauguration day.
Both Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey have an ‘activist’ approach through their art and share the idea that Art can be a positive tool for social change, a value which The Skateroom is committed to.
Through these artworks, The Skateroom and the artists will be able to support a number of NGOs. Following his trip to Gaza, Ai Weiwei has selected B’Tselem, an organisation which promotes respect for human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories through a variety of means. Alongside this, proceeds will also go to Halklarin köprüsü (Bridging Peoples) a non-profit charity and solidarity association based in Turkey. Bridging Peoples purpose is to assist in fighting the struggle against all sorts of ‘otherism’, hate speech, discrimination, racism, nationalism, sexism and denominationalism.
On the collaboration, Ai Weiwei comments: “My favourite word is ‘act’. I am partnering with the Skateroom for that very reason. During the filming of Human Flow, my documentary on the global refugee condition, I had the opportunity to speak with individuals from both B’Tselem and the Bridging Peoples Association in Turkey. What these two organizations do is very valuable to society, both in fighting against injustice and in helping those that are unfortunate.”
Whilst Shepard Fairey states that “The Skateroom collaboration is an evolution of the DIY silk screened skateboard I began making in the 90’s, as an art canvas that could go on four wheels or a wall. These new boards are more refined art pieces, but the spirit of skateboard culture is what drives this new collaboration. ‘No Future’ is a response to the election of Trump. My art is usually social and political regardless of who is in the White House, but my concerns and frustrations are amplified by the election of Donald Trump. I joked while Trump was campaigning that his slogan should be ‘Manifest Density’, a parody of ‘Manifest Destiny’, which was an embarrassingly egotistical pronouncement by rich white men that it was God’s desire for them to conquer ocean to ocean in the territory that would become the United States. Trump appealed to an uninformed electorate who looked for scapegoats and were driven by most likely one or more of the dark impulses listed in the image. I’m pushing for a future where those impulses have no place and definitely no traction. Let’s move forward, not backward!”