History & Now, News & Events

For first time, ‘TIME’ Magazine alters its name to “VOTE”

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Oct 28, 2020

For the first time in the history of the magazine, TIME Magazine altered its name on its November double issue to read “VOTE” instead of “TIME.” 

 

The artist behind this intervention, Shepard Fairey, who is also behind Barack Obama’s famous “Hope” poster of 2008, decided to weigh on the upcoming election with a new cover for the magazine. In an instagram post, Fairey shares: “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.

 

 

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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! -Shepard Based on 📷 by @vikkila / subject @velvettebunny

A post shared by Shepard Fairey (@obeygiant) on

 

The artist acknowledged that the future is not shaped by voting alone, but decided to use the cover as a space to urge young people to vote as it is crucial for a healthy, functional democracy.

 

The cover artwork features a woman wearing a bandana that boasts the demand to “Vote!” under a ballot turned loudspeaker. This is the first time in the long history of the magazine that the TIME is replaced. The editor in chief wrote: “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.” Not only is this cover of the issue calling for change, but the issue features a report and a guide on how to vote safely.

 

A week before arguably the most important elections in the modern history of this country, artists have been mobilizing in all different ways to urge young people to vote. This comes as one of those iterations, and it’s a powerful and very effective one.

 

Photo via TIME/Shepard Fairey