Detroit Wants to Arrest 'HOPE' Poster Artist

184-foot mural wasn't his only work in the city
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 11:23 PM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2015 2:00 AM CDT
Detroit Wants to Arrest 'HOPE' Poster Artist
A crew of artists work on a Shepard Fairey mural adorning the Compuware Building in Detroit.   (Brandy Baker/Detroit News via AP)

Street artist Shepard Fairey was recently commissioned to paint an enormous mural on the side of a downtown Detroit building, and cops in the city want to talk to him about a few side projects. Police say Fairey posted unauthorized stickers in at least 14 locations when he was in town to paint the 184-foot-tall Compuware Building mural last month, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest, reports the Detroit News. Fairey, who is best known for designing the Obama "HOPE" poster, allegedly caused more than $9,000 in damage, and police say that if he ever comes back to Detroit, he'll be arrested if he doesn't turn himself in first.

"Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal," Sgt. Rebecca McKay, chief of the city's graffiti task force, tells the Detroit Free Press. "And that's what we consider was done, in these instances, was vandalism." McKay tells the News that the city is "extremely serious" about dealing with graffiti because if it is ignored, it "sends the message to people we don't care, and it projects the image that an area covered in graffiti is not safe." (When Fairey visited Copenhagen a few years ago, he was roughed up and his mural was defaced with the words "Yankee hipster go home.")

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