Obama ‘Hope’ poster artist Shepard Fairey arrested


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What a roller-coaster ride it’s been for artist Shepard Fairey.

Los Angeles has been familiar with the street artist’s work for some time, but for the rest of the nation, Fairey became an ‘overnight success’ through his Obama ‘Hope’ poster.

Last month, the National Portrait Gallery added Fairey’s Obama portrait to its collection.


Life was good. Posters selling for big bucks. Museum validation.

Then last week the Associated Press accused Fairey of copyright infringement, saying the poster image was based on one of its photos, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.

Today comes word that the artist was arrested in Boston last night, on warrants accusing him of tagging. Fairey was detained en route to a party at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, which is presenting ‘Supply and Demand,’ the first solo exhibition of the 38-year-old artist’s work. Read what happened here.

Culture Monster will keep you posted on any other developments.

-- Lisa Fung