“The peace sign has long been an important image and symbol for me, not just because I am pro-harmony and anti-war, but because it is the graphic icon that taught me the power of an easily recognized and reproduced symbol.” – Shepard Fairey
ECHO PARK – Subliminal Projects is pleased to present PEACE, a selection of never before seen photographs by the late legendary photographer Jim Marshall, documenting the progression of the use of the peace symbol in America between 1961-1969. The exhibition follows the September 2017 book release of these unseen ‘peace’ photographs, collated and published first time by Reel Art Press, featuring a foreword written by Subliminal Projects founder artist and activist Shepard Fairey, who will also exhibit two original works inspired by images from the book. In conjunction with the exhibition, Subliminal Projects has invited emerging artists to submit works inspired by the peace symbol and Marshall’s photographs on Instagram, under the hashtag #PeaceSPExhibit. Participating artists include Sofia Enriquez, Bill Rebholz, Aaron Rathbone, Matthew LaPenta, Reto Meyer, Enjoy Denial, Luke Rocha, Matt Elliott, Lyle Wessels, Olive Moya, Thomas Wimberly, and Francisco Reyes Jr.
The internationally recognized peace symbol was originally designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Not copyrighted, trademarked or restricted, the symbol spread beyond CND to the United States and was adopted by wider disarmament, anti-war, and counterculture movements in the 1960’s. Marshall, widely known for his iconic music photography during that era, began to chart the peace symbol and peace rallies as a personal project. He tabled these in his archives, where they have remained until now.
Almost 60 years since its creation, the peace symbol occupies a presence in many subcultures, and remains a beacon of anti-war, anti-violence and universal harmony. PEACE examines the power of art and design by showcasing how a historic symbol can evolve into an iconic emblem that continues to evoke inspiration and hope in our current social political environment.