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TIME’s Person of the Year is “The Protester,” as Presented by Shepard Fairey

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TIME just announced its Person of the Year this morning, as well as the cover of the magazine’s print edition. The winner is “The Protester,” in honor of the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and the Russian election rallies. And who else designed the cover’s iconic portrait but the HOPE man himself, Shepard Fairey!

The winner seems perfectly appropriate for a year of social and political upheaval that has only continued late into 2011, showing no signs of halting in the new year. Protesters in the Middle East overthrew dictatorial regimes in Egypt and Libya, while the Occupy movement electrified America’s middle class, spreading to cities around the country in an ongoing show of momentum.

TIME’s choice of illustrator, though, is funny. Fairey has been reticent about throwing his support behind the Occupy protests, contributing a kind-of-lame poster and a few press quotes. In contrast, this cover is a tour-de-force of Fairey’s signature style, showing a masked protester in a thick hat against a background of collaged rally scenes.

See the full cover below.

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  1. Hey, I finally won an award! Been awhile since college sports. Someone has to protest the decadence of the effete artscene. Real art exists, just cant go to Pavlovian Academic trained artistes to find it. Get off yer butts, its a big world, the gilded ghettos are just Imperial Clothing.

    art collegia delenda est
    fine art academies must be destroyed.

  2. Oh, forgot, did win all the college art photo contests too. But quite and moved on to painting. What passes for photo now is maybe even worse than moving around the colored mud.

  3. TIME is providing some much needed acknowledgement to the importance of protest. The Occupy and Arab Spring Movements are NECESSARY for our citizens to expose the corruption which Big Business has infected our Government with. Every single person occupying the streets and protesting Corporations is a hero and a patriot. I was compelled to lend a hand and create some new posters for the movement which you can download for free on my artist’s blog at

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