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Artist Shepard Fairey’s cover for the latest TIME issue (courtesy of TIME magazine)

Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster in 2008, is weighing in on the upcoming election with a new cover for TIME magazine.

The TIME cover, Fairey’s third for the magazine, features a woman wearing a bandana that says “Vote!” underneath a ballot-turned-loudspeaker. Elements of the American flag appear on her bandana and shirt.

“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,” Fairey wrote in an Instagram post.

The issue flaunts a subtle but unprecedented design in the magazine’s history. For the first time, the TIME logo is replaced by another word: “VOTE.”

“To mark this historic moment, arguably as consequential a decision as any of us has ever made at the ballot box, we have for the first time in our nearly 100-year history replaced our logo on the cover of our U.S. edition with the imperative for all of us to exercise the right to vote,” wrote TIME editor in chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal in a letter to readers.

The issue includes a special report on the closing days of the 2020 election campaigns and a guide on how to vote safely.

Fairey’s previous covers for the TIME were a portrait of Obama as 2008 Person of the Year and a depiction of an Occupy Wall Street Protester in 2011.

“The future is not shaped by voting alone, but voting is crucial to make a healthy, functional democracy,” Fairey said on social media. “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,” the artist continued. “Until then, mail in your ballot or mask-up and head to the polls… the future of our democracy is in your hands!”

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Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant and he holds an...