'Hope' Artist Cops Plea in Vandalism Case

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2009 2:04 PM CDT
Obey Giant Sticker.   (©berlinpiraten.de)
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(Newser) – Street artist Shephard Fairey plead guilty today to three counts of vandalism for displaying stickers and posters around Boston without permission, the Globe reports. He must pay a fine and is prohibited from carrying the tools of his trade—like wheat paste and brushes—in the county for 2 years. Fairey is most famous for his Obama “Hope” poster, though his trademark image is a stenciled likeness of wrestler Andre the Giant and the word “Obey.”

At the hearing today, Fairey apologized for “posting my art in unauthorized spaces without the consent of the owner.” He stressed his belief in “the importance of making art accessible through many avenues” and “freedom of expression,” but conceded the prosecution’s point, perhaps grudgingly. “I also believe it is important that people respect private property and do not use it without the authorization of the owner.”