Saturday, February 07, 2009

Shepard Fairey Arrested in Boston



I have been meaning to write about the AP's bullshit claim against Shepard Fairey for using their copyrighted photo to make his Obama "hope" poster (above); then I open the newspaper today and find that Fairey was arrested last night outside the Institute for Contemporary Art. I have no idea what that's about, but I'm pretty sure the AP's case against him is bogus. Did Campbell's Soup sue Andy Warhol? (runs to google to check...yes they did! But dropped the case, whether because they liked the exposure for their brand, or because they were going to lose on the merits of whether Warhol's work infringed on their brand.)

So, is the AP claiming a copyright on Obama's face? I would think if anyone has the right to "use" the photo, it's the subject.

We all know why AP is suddenly doing this more than a year after the poster came out. Newspapers are in the toilet, cutting costs left and right including cutting AP, and they need money.

Boston.com: AP wants credit for Fairey's Obama image

Boston.com: Street artist arrested on way to event at ICA

Shepard Fairey, the controversial street artist riding a roller coaster of publicity with his red, white, and blue posters of President Obama, was arrested last night on his way to deejay an event kicking off his exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Fairey, 38, who is known for his countercultural style, was arrested on two outstanding warrants and was being held, according to a police official with knowledge of the arrest who requested anonymity. Police could not describe the nature of the warrants, but said they originated in Massachusetts.

Fairey has been arrested at least 14 times, he has told the Globe.

The artist was arrested at about 9:15 p.m. as he was about to enter a sold-out dance event at the ICA on Northern Avenue, known as "Experiment Night." The event is geared toward a younger crowd, with techno-style music, and more than 750 people were waiting for Fairey, some of whom had bought tickets on Craigslist for as much as $500.

Fairey was supposed to appear as a guest disc jockey for the kickoff of his exhibit, "Supply and Demand," which will run through Aug. 16. He was scheduled to go on stage at about 10:30 p.m., and an hour later organizers told the crowd that he was arrested.

"We're very disappointed," said Paul Bessire, deputy director of the ICA.

2 comments:

Jane said...

If I were on the jury, the AP would lose. Mr. Fairey's image seems to me to be exceedingly different from the photographic image. And, yes, I agree. How can someone copyright another's person's image? This absurdity reminds me of medical science "owning" a person's body tissue (blood, genetic material, etc.) and using it without the person's knowledge or permission. We might come naked into the world and leave the same way, but darn it, while we are here, surely we have some rights over our bodies and our image.

truth said...

Agreed.