Artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obama “Hope” campaign posters, has designed a limited-edition art print to celebrate the career of George Harrison, coinciding with the Harrison box set The Apple Years 1968–75. The posters – titled Poster for George – will be available in red and silver editions, both of which have been limited to 400 signed and numbered copies each. The red edition will be available on Shepard’s ObeyGiant.com website on the afternoon of October 23rd, while the silver edition will be available at GeorgeHarrison.com at 10 a.m. PST on the 24th.
In a statement, Fairey recalled how his parents introduced him to the Beatles, leading to an obsession with the group’s later records, which featured more Harrison contributions. “I got George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album a long time ago, but even as a kid listening to the radio I reacted very emotionally to the song ‘My Sweet Lord,'” he wrote. “The song has a profound beauty and melancholy that is unique and powerful. I love George’s solo material musically, but what speaks to me most about George’s music and actions is his humanity and his soulfulness….
“I think George looked at himself as a world citizen, and not only brought international influences into his music, but was sensitive to human rights and politics around the globe,” he continued. “I’ve always seen music and art as amazing pleasures, but also as relatable vehicles to deliver a point of view. Art and music can invite people to think about something they might ordinarily not be interested in. George put together the Concert for Bangladesh as a way of using his music to benefit humanity. I admire that he went beyond just writing songs addressing issues, and used his significant cultural weight to be an activist and put something noteworthy together, both as a way of raising money for Bangladesh, and of publicizing the situation there. George is a hero.”
Harrison has been the subject of many celebrations in 2014. The Apple Years box set, which came out in September, collected the singer-songwriter’s first six studio albums along with previously unreleased bonus tracks and video footage. One previously unreleased track, “This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying)”, features contributions by Eurythmics‘ Dave Stewart, singer Kara DioGuardi, Harrison’s son Dhani and Ringo Starr. It also included a stripped-back, early version of his song “Dark Horse.”
Additionally, Conan O’Brien hosted performances of George Harrison songs by Paul Simon, Beck, Norah Jones and Dhani Harrison for what he dubbed George Harrison Week. That week culminated with the star-studded tribute concert George Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison. The event featured Harrison’s songs performed by the likes of Brian Wilson, Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and even “Weird Al” Yankovic.