Image courtesy OBEY GIANT.
Image courtesy OBEY GIANT.

Shepard Fairey: Earth Crisis

Shepard Fairey has unveiled his latest work Earth Crisis, a giant sphere suspended between the first and second floors of the Eiffel Tower. On view November 20–26, the piece serves as a call to action to address the global environmental crisis in the city slated to host COP21, the world conference on climate change.

“My political stance on protecting the planet is driven by my concern for the quality of life for future generations. I’m not an alarmist, but I do think people need to understand that we are facing an earth crisis. I think it is exciting that the globe provides different experiences for the viewer from a distance and up close while living in the heart of the Eiffel Tower. I hope the Earth Crisis Globe appeals visually but also generates a needed conversation about the fate of our planet.” —Shepard Fairey

The project, designed and implemented by Gallery Itinerrance, comes from the combination of resolute commitment of the artist, the Mayor of Paris and the operating company of the Eiffel Tower, in favor of sustainable development. The sphere, called “Earth Crisis,” weighs 2.3 tons and displays 8 meters in diameter for a printed surface area of over 200 meters squared. Suspended more than 60 meters above the ground, it is a strong call to reflect on the future of our planet and the threats to its sustainability.

Public art has the power to engage people emotionally and intellectually. Earth Crisis is a mandala designed to provide a unified ornamental structure that evokes floral motifs and harmony with nature. Housed within the mandala’s shields are images that symbolize both threats to nature and incitement to respect it. The mandala images, composed of climate change and environmentally themed graphics, are positioned to raise awareness and provoke discussions about the Earth’s future. The colors used in the globe design connect blue and green of air, water, and vegetation that allow the earth to sustain life.

Much of the mandala imagery appears in Fairey's newest editions from Pace Prints, including Earth Crisis, Paint it Black and Lifeguard Not on Duty.