Shepard Fairey Paints an Eight-Story Nelson Mandela Mural in South Africa
Street artist Shepard Fairey has left an indelible mark on popular culture with his iconic Barack Obama "Hope" image. Now, Fairey has immortalized another one of his heroes, the late human rights activist and South African president Nelson Mandela, with an eight-story mural in his honor.
As a part of his ongoing global tour and collaboration with Hennessy, the OBEY founder took his first trip to South Africa to paint the huge image of Mandela in Johannesburg. "The Purple Shall Govern" slogan at the bottom of the piece is a reference to the "Purple Rain Protest" of 1989.
On Sept. 2 of that year, anti-apartheid protesters were assailed by police who turned high-power water cannons with purple dye on them in an effort to disperse the crowd and identify them for arrest after. Things did not go as planned for the police. A protester managed to redirect the nozzle of the cannon, instead spraying the office building headquarters of the then ruling National Party -- an act of political vandalism and unintentional street art.
Watch Fairey talk about his career and the project in the video above and check out the portrait below.
[Via Arrested Motion]