Street artist Fairey surrenders to Detroit authorities

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 1:36 PM

By Serena Maria Daniels

DETROIT (Reuters) - Street artist Shepard Fairey, who created the "Hope" poster of Barack Obama in 2008, turned himself into Detroit police on Tuesday on charges he defaced several properties in the city, authorities said.

Fairey is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, Detroit Police Sgt. Cassandra Lewis said.

Police issued a felony arrest warrant for Fairey, 45, accusing him of two counts of malicious destruction of property, each punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition to creating the four-color "Hope" image Obama used during his 2008 presidential campaign, Fairey is the man behind the "Obey" street-art sticker campaign.

Detroit Police last month said Fairey set a bad example for other artists when he plastered his signature Andre the Giant posters on buildings in and near downtown. Police said Fairey vandalized nine different locations, including two city-owned properties.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Fairey was arrested last week because of the Detroit warrant while he returning to the country in Los Angeles. He was released after authorities in Detroit chose not to extradite him and flew to Detroit on Monday evening, the newspaper said. Approached by the newspaper after the flight, Fairey declined to comment.

(Reporting by Serena Maria Daniels in Detroit; Editing by Ben Klayman and Bill Trott)