Artist Shepard Fairey was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and fined $25,000 today in a federal courtroom in Manhattan today for destroying documents, falsifying evidence “and other misconduct” in his civil litigation two years ago against the
The Associated Press and the artist Shepard Fairey have settled their copyright battle over the unlicensed use by Mr. Fairey of an A.P. photograph of Barack Obama in the memorable 2008 “Hope” poster. The A.P. announced the settlement on Wednesday.
“In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images. I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone,” Fairey wrote in a statement on his Web site.
As soon as I snapped the photo above, a guard rushed over to admonish me that photography is not allowed in the show. “I’m not using a flash,” I replied. “Is that OK?” Nope, came the reply. “Must I obey?” I asked. “Yes,” she answered, missing or — more likely — ignoring my too-cute-by-half reference to Fairey’s trademark street-and-clothing campaign about authoritarian imagery, dubbed “Obey Giant.”
As underground art phenomenon SHEPARD FAIREY’s first major museum retrospective prepares to open at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON on February 6th, we feel the need to address some of the vicious and unfounded rumors surrounding the originality of Shepard’s artwork that have been floated online in recent years. Though written by a variety of different detractors for a questionable array of reasons, the common thread binding them all—aside from a thinly masked veneer of obvious envy in most cases—is a nearly ubiquitous lack of understanding of the artist’s use of appropriated imagery in his work and the longstanding historical precedent for this mode of creative expression.
Now that the source material for the iconic Barack Obama campaign image, produced by Shepard Fairey, has been identified, the fair use fun can begin. The photographer says that he doesn’t want to make trouble. But some in the art world have been gunning for Fairey, arguing that he’s not just a bad artist, but not an artist at all.
Oh dear. After my scoop “identifying” the source photograph and photographer of Shepard Fairey’s iconic HOPE poster, Purchase College digital photography teacher Nathan Lunstrum came up with a different image that appears to be a better and less convoluted match.
The code word was “chill.” That’s what the crew with Shepard Fairey, the cult graphic artist known for his screen prints and stickers of the wrestler Andre the Giant, had been instructed to say if a police car rolled by as Mr. Fairey was wheat-pasting one recent night here, illegally tagging warehouse walls and empty billboards with his black-and-white images. Then Mr. Fairey and his helpers would know to make a run for it, to avoid yet another arrest.