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L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey assaulted in Copenhagen

August 12, 2011 |  4:36 pm

Shepard Fairey beat up in Copenhagen
Noted L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey was reportedly assaulted last weekend at the opening of his exhibition at a gallery in Copenhagen by two men who called Fairey "Obama illuminati" and told him to "go back to America."

The Guardian reportedFriday that two men punched and kicked Fairey and his colleague Romeo Trinidad outside the Kodboderne 18 nightclub early the morning of Aug. 6.

"I have a black eye and a bruised rib," Fairey told the paper.

Fairey went on to say that he believed the attack was prompted by a mural he had painted that has sparked some controversy in recent weeks. The work commemorates the demolition of "Ungdomshuset," a now-demolished youth house that was a base for left-wing Copenhagen and has long symbolized the divide between the city's establishment and its more radical edge.

The Guardian described Fairey's mural as a dove flying above the word "peace" and number "69," the building's address. But it didn't go over well with all of Copenhagen, and Fairey has since been accused of "peddling government-funded propaganda," the paper said. Vandals struck within days of the mural's finish -- "no peace" and "go home, Yankee hipster" were scrawled across the wall -- and though Fairey has since reworked the vandalized half, he told The Guardian that the piece was never meant to be considered propaganda.

"It looked to the people at 69 like I was cooperating with the authorities, making a propaganda piece to smooth over the wound," Fairey said.

Fairey didn't file a police report about the alleged attack. He mentioned it briefly in a Thursday blog post on his website, where he wrote that "Copenhagen was a very, intense trip."

"Not everyone in Copenhagen was hospitable, but that deserves a longer and more thorough explanation and analysis that I will get to in the next couple days," Fairey wrote.

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-- Kate Mather

Photo: Artist Shepard Fairey poses on a rooftop in front of his widely used poster supporting Barack Obama for president in 2008. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

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