Shepard Fairey Again

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Shepard Fairey is in the news again. Fairey was arrested on February 6 in Boston, because some of his images have been showing up in that city’s streets. He has been charged with one misdemeanor and with 13 felonies. (That’s right, felonies. Graffiti is apparently on the same moral level as robbing or killing somebody.) His attorney says that the Boston Police are pursuing 19 more charges.

These images apparently included his “Hope” image of Obama. The New York Times quotes Anne Swanson, of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston) as saying, “This is clearly just chronic vandalism. I voted for Obama, too, but I still don’t want to have to remove his face from 30 traffic signs.” This strikes me as a peculiar form of capitalist alienation. It’s okay for companies to put their advertisements all over the place, but if someone unaffiliated with a corporation puts up signs or images, they are automatically considered eyesores, regardless of their content or aesthetic quality. I don’t care much for Shepard Farey, for reasons I’ve explained earlier, but it seems to me that we should support him against the anal-retentive police in Boston.

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