Today in Giant news

Shepard Fairey's Laywer is a Ninja:
Shepard Fairey, the visual artist who created the iconic "Hope" poster of Barack Obama, has filed suit against The Associated Press, according to court documents. Last week, The A.P. said in a statement that the poster, based on an A.P. photograph taken by Mannie Garcia in April 2006, requires its permission for use of the image, and that it is seeking credit and compensation for its use in Mr. Fairey's works. In the suit, lawyers for Mr. Fairey are seeking a declaratory judgment which would rule that Mr. Fairey's poster does not infringe on The A.P.'s copyrights and is protected by the Fair Use Doctrine. The complaint also seeks an injunction enjoining The A.P. from asserting its copyrights against Mr. Fairey, his company, Obey Giant, and anyone in possession of the poster or works derived from it, as well as a jury trial.

Presumably this has something to do with the Mooninite Menace:

Shepard Fairey was arrested Friday night on his way to the Institute of Contemporary Art for a kickoff event for his first solo exhibition, called "Supply and Demand." Two warrants were issued for Fairey on Jan. 24 after police determined he'd tagged property in two locations with graffiti based on the Andre the Giant street art campaign from his early career, Officer James Kenneally said. One of the locations was the railroad trestle by the landmark Boston University bridge over the Charles River, police said.
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13 Responses:

  1. ultranurd says:

    Getting arrested for postering that trestle is very silly... the Boston University, Harvard, and MIT crew teams all tag that bridge from the water every racing season.

  2. saltdawg says:

    Shep seems to like getting arrested.

    I wish I had pictures of the time he superimposed Andre The Giant's head on the mayor's head on a re-election billboard. I was lucky enough to have seen it with my own bleary eyes, as I believe they took it down pretty quickly. And I think he got arrested for that one too.

  3. gytterberg says:

    Shepard Fairy is such a dilemma. On the one hand I'm all for broader interpretations of fair use and more respect for street art(ists). But on the other hand he's a derivative hack and a plagiarist.

    • jwz says:

      He is not a plagiarist, and the guy who wrote that page is so willfully obtuse that I really hope he's intentionally trolling and not serious. Fairey's books explicitly list and discuss the source material he bases his work on, and this guy acts like it's some dark secret.

      • gytterberg says:

        I agree that he does seem a little too shocked to find out how the sausage was made. But I think there is something to be said there. Fairey's books and the attributions they contain don't get pasted up along with the posters. And he does have a habit of turning (emotionally, politically, historically) significant source material into meaningless, varyingly competent graphic design which we're led to believe is art. But then that goes toward "derivative hack," obviously, not "plagiarist."

        • inoah says:

          I don't see what's so bad about derivative art. I've often recognized his source material and liked what he's done with it.

          "Rip, mix, burn", whether visual or aural, is not a phenomenon new to our generation. Classical composers used to take others' work and do "variations on a theme" too. That did not make them "derivative hacks" per se. And most artists are pretty hit or miss; I'd say Fairey does pretty well on average.

      • remonstrare says:

        It could be worse - he could be Todd Goldman.

    • roninspoon says:

      That page has so much sour grapes in it you could bottle it and sell it as vinegar.

  4. xthlcm says:

    Considering that Fairey made a scheduled public appearance with the mayor of Boston two days before, the timing of this is a bit suspicious. Perhaps the police decided to deliberately be dicks and ruin his art opening.

    Or perhaps (and frankly I think this is more likely) Fairey's publicist phoned them the day of the reception and said "Shepard has two outstanding warrants and wishes to turn himself in. He'll be at the ICA tonight."

    Maybe Fairey has learned an important PR lesson from Banksy's being eaten by the Establishment and shitted out in tiny particles.

  5. defenestr8r says:

    I think you should hire SF's lawyer.

  6. superbacana says:

    I'm sure the arrest is great publicity for the exhibition.