Eiffel Tower Installation by Shepard Fairey References Climate Change
Art & Design
Shepard Fairey, the once obscure American street artist who rocketed to fame for designing a 2008 poster featuring then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama, has just unveiled a new installation at the Eiffel Tower, ahead of the World COP 21 conference on climate change to be held in that city in early December. The installation, entitled Earth Crisis, features a massive globe suspended between the landmark’s first and second levels, the first time that the Eiffel Tower has played host to the work of a street artist—though whether the work itself qualifies as street art will, no doubt, be up for discussion. On view for a mere week (Nov 20-26), Earth Crisis, though decorative as a Christmas ornament, carries new gravitas, owing to the recent terrorist attacks on the City of Light.
A collaborative project of the artist and Paris’ Galerie Itinerrance, which specializes in the work of urban artists, Shepard Fairey’s Earth Crisis installation calls attention to the issue of climate change, its blue sphere, more than 26 feet in diameter, printed with a suite of symbolic illustrations, each invoking issues related to the environment. Created to coincide with the COP 21 conference on climate action, scheduled for December 7-8 in Paris, the sphere’s size and weight (2.5 tons) renders it visible from a fair distance, and during the night, as it remains illuminated.
Mindful of the ongoing political overtones that plague the issue of climate change, the artist’s own statement related to the Earth Crisis installation, reads : “My political position on the protection of the planet is dictated by my worries about the quality of life future generations will have. I am not alarmist, but I think that people must understand that we are facing a world crisis. I think it is interesting that the globe presents different experiences to the spectator viewing from a distance and from close by, while residing at the heart of the Eiffel Tower. I hope the “Earth Crisis” sphere is visually striking but also that it generates a conversation we must have about the fate of our planet.”