E Pluribus Venom collects a large body of work produced by Shepard Fairey and presented at the Jonathan Levine gallery during his massive exhibition in the summer of 2007. Serving as more than just an exhibition catalog, this book expounds upon themes presented in the show.
The title “E Pluribus Venom” which translates “Out of many, poison” is derived from “E Pluribus Unum” (out of many, one) an early motto adopted by the U.S. Government which appears on U.S. currency. The artist’s thesis is that many becoming one, or a loss of power and influence of the individual in favor of homogeny is a symptom of a society in decline.
E Pluribus Venom is comprised of artworks designed to question the symbols and methods of the American machine and American dream and also celebrate those who oppose blind nationalism and war.
Some of Fairey’s works use currency motifs or a Norman Rockwell aesthetic to employ the graphic language of the subjects they critique. Other works use a blend of Art Nouveau, Hippie, and revolutionary propaganda styles to celebrate subjects advocating peace.
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