SHEPARD FAIREY HAS SURRENDERED: WHAT THAT MEANS FOR DETROIT ARTISTS

Originally Published July 14, 2015
By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger


Obey Clothing mogul and Mural Artist Shepard Fairey has surrendered to the Detroit Police for a warrant for vandalism. 

The 36th District Court documents and reports from all matter of news sources today, including the Detroit Free PressThe Detroit NewsMetro TimesDeadline Detroit, and Motor City Muckraker all have released interesting details on the situation, and of all headlines, the most telling was "Worlds Most Menacing Criminal, Shepard Fairey, Surrenders in Detroit."

The hard news side of this is that his bond is set at $75,000 for creating only $9,000 worth of public "damage," along with a potential of five years behind bars and fines that could go well over $10,000.

Fairey came to Detroit for a mural on one of Dan Gilbert's buildings, which resides as a new piece of the Detroit Skyline, along with murals in Z Park and other locations. The Police explained the illegal pieces of Andre The Giant, which is a signature notation for Fairey, were what set off the need for arrest, because they were "city owned properties."

From what Sgt. Rebecca McKay told The Detroit News, he had "vandalized" eight properties in which the  building owners wanted to prosecute against him.

From this point, this begs the question: If an artist travels to Detroit to create artwork, and brings people to the city based on the artwork alone, is this a reason to put him or her in jail? We see it all the time, the negative impact the media has in portraying Detroit, save from New York trying to make it look like the best place ever (which we still haven't quite figured out yet). 

If people like our favorite graffiti and mural artists such as PhybrSintex, and other creatives are under watch for exhibiting artwork on buildings, then what does that say about Detroit as a creative space for art?

VIEW: SOME OF DETROIT'S BEST STREET ART / MURALS