Famous street artist Shepard Fairey (and creator of the iconic Obama “Hope” campaign poster) visited Detroit last month to paint the largest mural in his career — commissioned for the One Campus Martius building — but admitted at the time he’d be doing some unplanned tagging elsewhere in the city. Today the 36th District has issued a felony arrest warrant for the Los Angeles-based Fairey which, according to the Detroit Free Press, will “bring a maximum penalty of five years in jail, plus fines that could run higher than $10,000.”
Detroit police accuse the artist, 45, of causing roughly $9,000 worth of damages and “that the next time he comes back to Detroit, they will arrest him if he doesn’t turn himself in first.”
When Fairey was in Detroit last month he told the Free Press: “I still do stuff on the street without permission. I’ll be doing stuff on the street when I’m in Detroit.” It’s been reported that his distinctive Andre the Giant face and other images have shown up, in poster form, plastered on some downtown buildings “in Eastern Market and along Jefferson Avenue.” It’s unclear at this time if he used paint on any of the properties.
It’s possible that Fairey illegally tagged up to 14 locations, though some of the property owners won’t press charges. Fairey has been arrested more than a dozen times in his career.