In a funny coincidence, Time Magazine commissioned Shepard Fairey to illustrate their “Person of the Year” issue cover and Arrested Motion reports that Wired commissioned WK-Interact to illustrate their cover. In a further coincidence, Time’s Person of the Year is “The Protester” and Wired’s cover article is “#Riot: Self-Organized, Hyper-Networked Revolts—Coming to a City Near You.” Unfortunately, Wired changed their mind and used this cover, delegating WK’s art to staying inside the magazine.
Regarding Fairey’s cover for Time Magazine, the responses have been mixed. Here’s Fairey’s explanation of the work, an article criticizing it and an argument for it’s success for having mass appeal.
WK-Interact’s aborted cover for Wired is a real shame. The reasons for the change are not known, but I have seen the cover they used and it pales in comparison to WK-Interact’s work. My low-quality photo of the actual cover does not really do justice to how lame it is compared to what could have been. Sticking with the “rebellious street art/graffiti” vibe, even the Wired logo has been made to look it has been poorly stenciled onto the page, as you may be able to see more clearly in this close-up shot. I don’t know if Wired made their decision before or after news of Time’s cover came out, but maybe the Wired editors just thought that two street artists designing covers for major magazines in one month was too many. It’s too bad though, I think WK-Interact’s cover would have been much cooler than Fairey’s is.
Images courtesy of Arrested Motion and Obey Giant