February 8th, 2009
06:40 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama 'Hope' artist arrested in Boston

Fairey stands next to his famous depiction of Obama at the National Portrait Gallery.
Fairey stands next to his famous depiction of Obama at the National Portrait Gallery.

(CNN) –The street artist who created the ubiquitous red, white and blue Obama "Hope" posters was arrested Friday in Boston on outstanding graffiti charges, police said.

Shepard Fairey, 38, was arrested en route to an opening party for his first solo art exhibition on two outstanding warrants for property damage by graffiti, Boston police said.

Officer James Kenneally said the instances of graffiti involved images of the late wrestler Andre the Giant - Fairey's tag.

The Friday arrest represents Fairey's second legal tangle this week.

Earlier, the Associated Press accused him of copyright infringement, saying the iconic "Hope" portrait of the president is based on an April 2006 photograph of Obama taken by AP's Mannie Garcia.

The AP - the world's largest news organization - is seeking credit and compensation from Fairey, who contends the image is protected by fair use laws.

The graffiti artist is no stranger to law enforcement. In a recent interview, Fairey told the Boston Globe he has been arrested at least 14 times.

Fairey was released on bail shortly after his arrest Friday and is scheduled for arraignment Monday.

Calls to his lawyer were not immediately returned Saturday.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Justin from New Haven, CT

    Give me a freaking break. LA is a dump with or without graffiti. I say it improves the place.

    February 8, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. MikeNJ

    That whole painting is Graffiti.....take him out behind the barn and shoot him for painting that crap

    February 8, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Drinkster

    Can we please do something about this world and this system can punish people who offer creativity and hope but people like Bernie Madoff can get off scott free? Nobody's listening! This is like the holocaust!

    February 8, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. Ted Townend

    Last week Kiera referred to the prisdent as Obama this wk Mr Obama I wonder in 98 yrs of Bush if she ever referred to Bush as Bush or Mr Bush I think it was always Prsident Bush or just the President? Just Curious??

    February 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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