Half a century ago Johnny Cash gave two performances at Folsom Prison near Sacramento, California, and thereby shone a rare light–for that time–on prisoner rights and the need for prison reform.
Contemporary graphic artist Shepard Fairey is also a champion for prison reform. He has recently unveiled his salute, in the form of an expansive wall mural, to his spiritual forebearer, The Man in Black. Painted on the side of the Marriott Residence Inn in downtown Sacramento, it features an image of Cash in the style of a famed 1968 photo by Jim Marshall, taken at Folsom Prison. Fairey has positioned his work so that Cash’s gaze is directed toward Folsom, some 20 miles away.
Enjoy below Shepard Fairey’s description of the mural and an overview of its creation. And below that, enjoy even more Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues: