Peace and Justice Lotus by Shepard Fairey was completed in 2015. The mural is 184h x 60w ft and was on the facade of One Campus Martius in the heart of Downtown Detroit.
On street art Shepard Fairey, most well known for his poster Hope created for the Obama campaign, states, “I’m still excited about street art because it has the ability to reach people who are not a captive audience. If you are going to an artist’s gallery of museum show or website, you might find something interesting and new, but it’s not the same as the visceral experience of encountering something unexpected on the streets.” This mural features Fairey’s iconic Andre the Giant at the centre of a lotus pattern. The lotus flower often appears in Fairey’s works as a symbol of life and beauty that arises from unclean or decaying circumstance. The mural also featured geometric shapes that sport some of the Los Angeles-based artist’s favorite imagery including the five-pointed star, the peace symbol and the scales of justice.
“Feelings of conflict and struggle are common when it comes to the concept for our paintings. If they evoke that in the viewer, then we have reached the conversation that we were hoping for,” says Davide (AKA Nosm, one half of the twin brother pair that makes up how&nosm). Their trademark palette of red, black, and white belies the seriousness of this concept from a distance, but up close, complex characters wind together in an unending spiral of contention. Many pieces present worlds within worlds - stacked and winding together, an attribute the brothers say is illustrative of the weight of forces that impact us individually and within a society.
This mural, Balancing Act by how&nosm was placed next to Shepard Fairey’s mural at One Campus Martius and was the twins’ tallest mural to date. The 184’ by 60’ piece explored the delicate nature of family and community on a societal scale. The piece was executed and completed in only 6 days, staying true to the Perre brother’s reputation as the fastest muralists in the world.