by Bob Schwartz
Above is this week’s Time magazine cover, created by visionary artist Shepard Fairey—most famous for his Obama “HOPE” poster. It is the only time in its history that the magazine has replaced its name on the cover. (I’ve referenced Shepard’s work multiple times before: here, here and here)
I’m honored to have created my third cover for Time magazine, especially since this issue focuses on the civic duty of voting. The art I created for the Time cover addresses the very unique situation we are in as a country as we face the Covid-19 pandemic, unrest around police brutality and racial discrimination, voter suppression, and intense political division. In this illustration, the normally clear-cut rebel symbol of a bandana covering a face takes on a different meaning during Covid, becoming an emblem of safety, respect for one’s fellow citizens, and a sign that the wearer believes in science. The image on the bandana, including the ballot box speaker, is part of a piece of art I created called “Our Hands – Our Future.” Even though the subject in the portrait knows there are additional challenges to democracy during a pandemic, she is determined to use her voice and power by voting. The future is not shaped by voting alone, but voting is crucial to make a healthy, functional democracy. In my opinion, those who claim to believe in democracy and ask for the honor to represent the people should be looking for ways to make voting easier, not more difficult. I’d like to see the implementation of an election holiday as well as secure electronic voting options. Until then, mail in your ballot or mask-up and head to the polls… the future of our democracy is in your hands!