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Shepard Fairey's Boston legal drama gets more complicated

April 14, 2009 |  5:37 pm


The loud groan you just heard was L.A. artist Shepard Fairey looking at his latest lawyer bill.

The artist behind the Obama "Hope" poster faced 10 new charges in Boston today related to felony vandalism, according to reports. An arraignment is set for Wednesday.

The additional charges come just one day after a Boston Municipal Court clerk magistrate dismissed seven of the original 17 charges that Fairey was facing, citing a lack of evidence.

Boston police maintain that Fairey has illegally posted his artwork on public property. But the artist's lawyer has argued that anyone could have posted the material since it is available for download on the Internet. The Institute of Contemporary Art, which currently is featuring a solo exhibition of Fairey's work, has distributed some of his stickers for free, according to his lawyer.

The artist was arrested in February en route to a reception at the ICA Boston.

On top of all that, Fairey is also in the midst of a legal battle with the Associated Press, which maintains that the artist violated copyright law when he appropriated the Obama image for his now-famous poster.

Fairey, 39, seems to be taking this all in stride. ("This is a fun process, I'll say that," he was quoted as saying in the Boston Globe today.)

-- David Ng

Photo: Shepard Fairey. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times