Shep­ard Fairey van­dal­ism rap

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - — David Ng

Detroit off icials have is­sued an ar­rest war­rant for the L. A. artist, cit­ing ma­li­cious de­struc­tion.

Detroit po­lice said an ar­rest war­rant has been is­sued for Shep­ard Fairey, the Los An­ge­les street artist fa­mous for his “Hope” poster of Barack Obama, now ac­cused of ma­li­cious de­struc­tion of prop­erty.

Po­lice ac­cuse Fairey of felony van­dal­ism and the de­struc­tion of prop­erty, in­clud­ing putting up posters on pri­vate and gov­ern­ment prop­erty. The artist faces a jail sen­tence of up to five years and fines of sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars.

Fairey re­port­edly was in Detroit this year to work on a large mu­ral. A spokesman for Fairey said Thurs­day the artist was un­avail­able for com­ment.

“I would hope he would do the re­spon­si­ble thing and get with his at­tor­ney and turn him­self in,” Detroit Po­lice Sgt. Re­becca McKay of the city’s graf­fiti task force said. “The city of Detroit is bat­tling illegal graf­fiti and van­dal­ism, and we can’t just turn a blind eye to these illegal acts be­cause it was a well- known artist who did it.”

Many street artists have po­lice records re­lat­ing to van­dal­ism and the de­struc­tion of prop­erty, and some even take pride in them. Fairey was ar­rested in Bos­ton in 2009 in con­nec­tion with illegal tag­ging around the time of his ex­hi­bi­tion at the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art/ Bos­ton.

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