Shepard Fairey: Detroit Arrest Warrant Issued For allegedly Tagging Buildings

The American ‘Street Artist’ Shepard Fairey is being sought by police in Detroit after he allegedly tagged buildings around the city. A warrant for the arrest of the graffiti giant, best known for creatin the “Hope” image of President Obama during his 2008 election campaign, has been issued by enforcement officers.

Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal Detroit police sergeant Rebecca McKay. He was commissioned to paint a huge, 18-storey mural in Detroit last month but police say he used his down time to plaster buildings with posters.The warrant accuses him of two counts of malicious destruction of property. Each is punishable by a prison sentence and a $10,000 (£6,347) fine. “When you’re in Detroit, we welcome your work, Shepard Fairey, your commissioned work, not your Wild West work,” Detroit police sergeant Rebecca McKay said. “Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal,” she added. However, Fairey laughed off the charges, calling them “hilarious”. The artist, who has been arrested 17 times in his 20-year career, told the Independent he did not know what the warrant would amount to. “Sometimes it’s a day or two in jail. Normally the charges get downgraded. Most of the arrests aren’t for serious stuff,” he said.

Since last exhibiting in London, Fairey has continued to progress with his art and with a 20 Year Retrospective museum exhibition that began at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 2009 and continued to the Warhol Museum and Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati. In 2012, he was commissioned by TIME Magazine to design a cover in celebration of ‘The Protester’, an anonymous figure representative of momentous world demonstrations such as the Arab Spring and Occupy movement.  It was his second Time Magazine cover. He has also done covers for Rolling Stone and Esquire magazine. 

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