50 years since Folsom Prison: a 15-storey mural of Johnny Cash has been unveiled

On the 50th anniversary of the iconic performance by Johnny CashLive At Folsom Prison, American artist Shepard Fairey has created a mural honouring the artist.

The 15-storey artwork was revealed by Fairey in Sacramento, California as a feature of the Wide Open Walls Festival, which features some of the biggest and best mural artists from across the globe.

The mural was based off an image taken of Johnny Cash by Jim Marshall at one of his two shows performed at Folsom Prison in 1968.

Highly renowned as a social and political activist, Fairey explained his intention of creating awareness around the overwhelmingly high incarceration rates in America.

“I hope that this art will ignite a conversation around the need for incarceration reform. According to a recent in-depth study by the Prison Policy Initiative, America has the highest incarceration rate in the world with a shocking 2.3 million people currently imprisoned.

Fairey’s mural of Cash is one of many in his distinguished American Civic series, which has featured other change makers such as Barack Obama and Cesar Chavez. The series, by Shepard Fairey and collaborator Jim Marshall, has featured five works that detail those fronting change in enduring social issues.

Fairey has also announced that he will be making a print version of the mural available to purchase with a portion of the artworks proceeds going towards American prison reform charity Cut 50.

Cut 50 is an initiative that aims to reduce the prison population while taking other measures to ensure community safety and well-being. The campaigns are led by those who are currently incarcerated, formerly incarcerated or have been affected by the prison system in America.

Find more information and how to donate here.

Via The Vinyl Factory.