February 7, 2009

"Fairey's warrants weren't just outstanding — they were FABULOUS!"

Says chuck b., noting the arrest — and the epithetish name — of the Obama poster artist.
Shepard Fairey was in Boston on Friday for his new exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Police Officer James Kenneally says the department had Jan. 24 warrants alleging the Los Angeles artist tagged property with graffiti.
***

Here's a slide show of Fairey's work from the Institute for Contemporary Art. Here's an old post of mine that includes a photo I took of the old Andre the Giant "Obey" image, without knowing what it was or having ever heard the name Shepard Fairey. I called it "an unrecognizable face on a lamppost":



And really, why should an artist get away with appropriating public property like this? I love Fairey, but it seems that he's committed a lot of crimes along his path to fame. Does he belong in prison for it? Should a man who stomped on a kitty go to prison for a year? But Fairey's crimes were fabulous (and his warrants were outstanding). It is not fabulous to stomp a kitten.

IN THE COMMENTS: Zachary Paul Sire says:
I wonder how everyone here would react had Fairey's subject and object of affection been Sarah Palin.
Oh, that's easy. Then he would belong in jail for a year, just like the kitty stomper. Fairey's more like a cockroach stomper. See the difference? Your sentence depends on whether we love or hate you.

60 comments:

Curtiss said...

"Does he belong in prison for it?"

Were his property tagging offenses felonies? I don't know.

He should repair the damage to public property that he caused. It was damaged wasn't it? Or is it just illegal?

Maybe his punishment should be providing some legal public art at no cost.

I have more questions than answers. But I'm clear on what to do with the kitty killer.

Palladian said...

"Maybe his punishment should be providing some legal public art at no cost."

Why does the public deserve to be punished for Fairey's crimes?

Curtiss said...

"Why does the public deserve to be punished for Fairey's crimes?"

More questions.

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe his punishment should be providing some legal public art at no cost."

Didn't he do that with the Obama poster? And he even gave us a whole President to love, honor, and obey.

JAL said...

Touche (with one of those accent aigus on it for proper flair but which I don't know how to do posting comments), Palladian.

JAL said...

Of course legitimizing it by making him do it on public property might kill his mo -- and his identity as something special and daring.

We could cover him somewhere in the "stimulus" bill, I am sure, and we would have Fairey depression era type men lifting their plowshares ugly art.

MayBee said...

Shepard Fairey is a 38 year old man with a wife and kids and a privileged and toney upbringing. He's a poseur.

Perhaps his punishment should be allowing the public to decorate his private space in a manner of our choosing.

Beth said...

I'm generally irked by graffiti "artists" especially those whose "art" consists of nothing but a tag. It's just a form of pissing on territory. And in a city full of beautiful old 19th century buildings, it's even more of an offense, in my eyes, to deface the wall of one of those properties - beautiful properties, even if not well-kept -- with stupid initials and slogans.

But there's a guy in New Orleans who goes around spraying over graffiti with a blotch of gray paint and he's just as bad. In fact, his splotch is just another tag. And he's been known to spray over commissioned signs and murals, so he's clearly a nutcase.

I find the Althouse question disturbing though, in comparing graffiti with stomping a cat. Is it that both involve "property"?

chuck b. said...

One of the commenters at the sfgate article said, "he actually argued that his use of the AP photo is protected by 'fairey use'".


lol

somefeller said...

And really, why should an artist get away with appropriating public property like this? I love Fairey, but it seems that he's committed a lot of crimes along his path to fame. Does he belong in prison for it? Should a man who stomped on a kitty go to prison for a year? But Fairey's crimes were fabulous (and his warrants were outstanding). It is not fabulous to stomp a kitten.

This is a fair question. While some street art like his is pretty cool, it's not cool if your property is tagged with it, and a lot of worthless vandals run around defacing property and call it "graffiti art", while citing the work of people like Fairey or Keith Haring as some sort of justification for the garbage they inflict on everyone else. And unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the art world and government who won't call them on it, for fear of seeming uncool or against a "populist" art form. And yes, those are sneer quotes, since most of what is called street art or graffiti art is just crappy vandalism.

Incidentally, Fairey has been arrested before, and a guy went around defacing his work as some sort of cultural statement. A friend of mine wrote a play about that defacer, and it was a pretty good satire of that whole street-art subculture.

chuck b. said...

With a name like Fairey it's no wonder he turned to a life of crime. The childhood mockery alone...

I blame society.

BJM said...

Should a man who stomped on a kitty go to prison for a year?

Yes, before the child ends up in the dumpster as well.

Fairey should pay the costs for graffiti cleanup, whatever fines are usual for taggers and serve community service.

I worked in downtown SF for many years and graffiti, no matter the quality of the artwork, is not fabulous, it is vandalism and degrades the space for every one. Especially when property owners and the city have taken decades and taxpayer money to restore landmark buildings.

But then it's not acceptable to step over feces on sidewalks or find your front door has been used as a urinal overnight; so the debate is probably moot in Baghdad by the Bay.

Buford Gooch said...

Those who deface and destroy the property of others are likely to be the ones who scream the loudest at any abridgment of their "rights", whether real or fancied.

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse says: "I cooked soup and now the house smells like soup. I hate smelling food when I'm trying to go to sleep."---Althouse.

__________________

Interpretation: I live in a place with poor air circulation. Can somebody please come clean out my vents ?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Fairey stole a design from a friend of mine who works in the fashion industry, when they were freelancing together a couple years ago. This happens all the time, but it really is nice to see this hack getting what he deserves.

Palladian said...

Do you still retain your "street-wise" rebel outsider outlaw graffiti artists cred once you've designed campaign materials for an establishment politician who is now President of the United States?

How does Obama feel that perhaps the most widely-seen and significant image of his campaign was designed and propagated by an upper-class vandal?

Are you still the romantic rogue street artist once you've spent evenings clinking glasses at your solo exhibition at the ICA in Boston?

More questions.

Fairey is "radical chic" minus the radical. This is Jean Michel Basquiat in doughy middle-aged white man form. Now he can play the victim and pretend to be oppressed by the new government that he helped install. Whee!

Eli Blake said...

I am going to say something I'm sure will draw criticism:

I don't think the guy who stomped the kitty should go to prison for a year.

I agree it is a crime, probably worthy of a fine (and perhaps prison time if he repeats the crime) but let's be honest here-- people who beat their kids are given every opportunity to not only stay out of prison, but receive treatment and get their kids back. So why is a cat now considered more worthy of punishment over than a child? I don't get it.

The kitten stomper should be given anger management training. But I refuse to accept a stiffer sentence of any crime against an animal than people get for crimes against children. Yeah, I know, the kitten probably died (I didn't bother to follow the link because the details of the kitten stomping don't interest me.) But let's be honest here-- even if it didn't, he'd still be going to prison. The message being that if he'd stomped his son or daughter instead he'd be getting counseling to help him reunite with his child.

Besides, how can you send a man to prison for a year for stomping a kitten when this is considered good wholesome fun in a lot of places (and I'm a strong advocate of guns and hunting, but there is a point where I question gratuitous killing that has no purpose besides the killing for a moment of pleasure.)

garage mahal said...

I wish they'd ban the millions of billboards that deface our roadsides, especially here in Wisc. I don't need, nor want to know where the next McDonalds is from the last one you passed 5 minutes before. Even the road signs and markers are way over the top -- do we need to be constantly reminded what roads we could take or be reminded of the road we're already driving on?

Rick Lee said...

"Perhaps his punishment should be allowing the public to decorate his private space in a manner of our choosing." That's what I've always said. When I see graffiti on the building where I work, I desperately want to go over to the vandal's home and spray paint his personal belongings just to see his reaction.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I wonder how everyone here would react had Fairey's subject and object of affection been Sarah Palin.

somefeller said...

Do you still retain your "street-wise" rebel outsider outlaw graffiti artists cred once you've designed campaign materials for an establishment politician who is now President of the United States?

According to my friend's play, no. And when the subject came up, you could tell that some of the Obama supporters in the audience thought the question to be a little uncomfortable.

blogging cockroach said...

Fairey's more like a cockroach stomper.
i beg your pardon

MayBee said...

I wonder how everyone here would react had Fairey's subject and object of affection been Sarah Palin

I wonder how everyone would have responded.
I'm betting that poster wouldn't have gotten much exposure.

Eli Blake said...

OK, here is another one:

If you deface a synagogue by painting swastikas on it or a church by painting satanic symbols on it (at least in a state with no hate crime laws,) then you probably get like a $200 fine and some time painting over other people's grafitti for a first offense.

So if Mr. Fairey gets any stiffer sentence than this won't it indicate he's being targetted precisely because he is a celebrity? I mean, is this even as bad as a synagogue swastika?

Palladian said...

"So if Mr. Fairey gets any stiffer sentence than this won't it indicate he's being targetted precisely because he is a celebrity?"

I think he should have a percent of his income garnished, divided up and sent to every claimant whose property he ever defaced- he didn't just vandalize "public" property. After all, those unwilling "collaborators" helped vault the rebellious man-child to stardom by "providing" their property for the display of his self-advertisements. After all, you don't get famous by making ham-handed retreads of Soviet and Maoist posters and WPA graphic design alone.

Lawgiver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"I don't think the guy who stomped the kitty should go to prison for a year."

I agree, actually. Let's be clear about what happened: his roommate's 4-year-old daughter drew on the bathroom door, so
Franco "grabbed the kitten by the neck, squeezed the animal and threw it off the second-story balcony. He then went outside and stomped the kitten to death." A year in jail simply isn't a proportionate response; the correct response is to throw him off a fourth-story balcony and stomp him to death using a proportionately-large piece of construction equipment. Failing that, he should go to prison for several years. People who deliberately do vicious, evil things to cats ought to be dealt with using the utmost severity.

Trooper York said...

I went to meet the new captain in the 76 at the Court St merchants and talked to him about graffiti. He was very knowledgeable about what to do. He had me sign an avadavat that no one had permission to paint on my gates or building. The cops need to have that on file otherwise after they are arrested the scumbag lawyers will get them off because there was no complaining witness. This will allow them to put them through the system and the jerk off lawyers won’t let them go even though they were caught red handed.. Which is good.

But I just want to find out where they live.

Matt Eckert said...

Eli Blake wants to treat kitten killers like he wants to treat terrorists.

Typical.

Palladian said...

"Eli Blake wants to treat kitten killers like he wants to treat terrorists.

Typical."

A conservative is a liberal that has had his kitten stomped.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Palladian said...

What the fuck are you talking about, Gene? Does that have anything to do with Shepard Fairey? Or kitten murder? Or anything even remotely interesting? What are you trying to do, turn into a semi-literate version of AlphaLiberal? This is not creative digression, it's annoying. Take your wet black pussy and spread your boredom somewhere else. Jesus H. W. Christ!

garage mahal said...

Get that man a tag!

Creative digression. Ha.Ha.Ha. Like that get's rewarded around here.

Palladian said...

"Creative digression. Ha.Ha.Ha. Like that get's rewarded around here."

At least you can take comfort in knowing that Gene AKA "Michael" will never, ever get a tag either.

garage mahal said...

Cedarford got a tag. Just sayin!

Palladian said...

"Cedarford got a tag. Just sayin!"

Ick. He did?!

garage mahal said...

It's kind of like that quick panic rush you might experience once in a while, or "Come to Jesus" moment you get when you think your other might be cheating. Maybe a huge and sudden loss of income. Or that looming court date coming up. Wow. Yep. Fuck.

I've joined Cedarford on a literary achievement award list.

TitusGivesHugstoAll said...

I would do him.

Trooper York said...

I am sure Garage Mahal is glad to hear that.

But that is not the sort of tag he is talking about Titus.

garage mahal said...

Titus was talking about C4.

Tags: "gaydar" "kosher food" "loaves" "hog" "Nazis"

Trooper York said...

Sure garage, no problem dude.

jaed said...

So why is a cat now considered more worthy of punishment over than a child?

I'm not arguing with the idea that people who hurt their children often get inappropriate leniency, but are you seriously under the impression that if the orc in question had thrown the four-year-old out the window instead of the kitten, then gone down and stomped her to death, he wouldn't have gotten quite a bit of prison time at least? I don't think your argument holds a lot of water if it's based on the idea that his sentence shouldn't be harsher than he'd get for doing the same thing to a child.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Palladian said...

"Man who led Sen. John McCain's presidential-campaign office in Pueblo arrested for child molestation...but thank God he's not a tagger."

Community college psychology teacher in Santa Monica arrested for being the world's most boring, irrelevant and stupid blog troll...

...Oh wait, that's just me, dreaming

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Michael is trying (failing) to subtly work around the "Please don't tell me I should be blogging about some other subject" directive. Instead of telling Althouse to blog about Republican scandals, he copy/pastes them in the comments. He does it repeatedly, and I think he needs to be scolded by the blog mistress.

Ann Althouse said...

There, do you feel better now?

Michael said...

You're soooooooooooooooo easy.

chuck b. said...

after 3:16, I'm replacing Titus with Simon as my favorite commenter.

Rick Lee said...

Hehe... USA Network just ran one of their "Character Approved" ads starring Fairey. The tag line at the end is "I love the challenge of doing something I'm not supposed to do and getting away with it".

Michael said...

"I love the challenge of doing something I'm not supposed to do and getting away with it".


Who doesn't?

Palladian said...

""I love the challenge of doing something I'm not supposed to do and getting away with it".


Who doesn't?"

People with morals. You probably don't know any.

Ann Althouse said...

"after 3:16, I'm replacing Titus with Simon as my favorite commenter."

Aw! I wish I could get my 25 favorite commenters all in the same place a the same time. In the real world, I mean.

blogging cockroach said...

sounds like fun but they wouldn t fit under the fridge here

Salamandyr said...

This guy's tagging looks entirely too much like the paintings of the old Soviet era to be at all interesting.

Simon said...

/* feels special */

Ann Althouse said...

Aw.

Simon said...

I'm number 26, aren't I? ;)

Mr. Forward said...

Althouse's favorite commentater
Lives under the refrigerator.
He appears as a ghost
when he bothers to post,
Admits "it's the only way I could date her."

Psychedelic George said...

A mere common tater,
a tuber who wishes he knew 'er.

Meade said...

Which isn't to say
she'd let him have his way
for his boots, they've been in
the manure