Obama "Hope" Artist Arrested in Boston

Saturday, Feb 7, 2009  |  Updated 11:15 AM EDT
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Obama "Hope" Artist Arrested in Boston

AP

This would be Shephard Fairey's 15th arrest, according to The Globe.

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The guerrilla street artist who won worldwide acclaim--and a recent claim of copyright infringement--for creating the iconic Barack Obama "Hope" campaign poster has been arrested for outstanding warrants in Boston, the Boston Globe reported.

Shepard Fairey, 38, was being held at a police station since being arrested for two outstanding warrants Friday evening outside a sold-out dance party where he was set to guest-DJ, according to an anonymous police source and others.

"We're very disappointed," said Paul Bessire, deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Art where Fairey was supposed to perform. "Shephard Fairey is a wonderful artist who created some positive work and we were very pleased to present his work here and around the city."

Fairey has created posters, stencils and street art for more than a decade and has told the Globe that he has been arrested more than a dozen times.

His inspirational image of Barack Obama looking up proudly off into the distance has propelled Fairey to superstar star status in the art world and beyond. The poster is being included this month in an exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. 

The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia at the National Press Club in Washington. 

The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.

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