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September 2008

Shepard Fairey Arrested During Denver DNC

I think this might be old news but I just saw this on Artkrush:

Charleston native Shepard Fairey, receiving lots of attention for his Obama posters touting Hope and Progress, was arrested in Denver during the DNC convention, according to the Denver Westword News. Fairey was in the process of hanging posters advertising his gallery show when police in full riot gear approached him. In a video interview with the website www.imeem.com, Fairey says that as the group tried to exit the other end of the alley, the police drew their guns. “Get on the fucking ground or we’re going to kick you in the fucking head!” Fairey quotes them as saying.

The artists were thrown down, handcuffed and arrested, charged with “interference and posting unauthorized posters.” Fairey and company spent seventeen hours in jail, first at the infamous “Gitmo on the Platte” warehouse the city set up for DNC protesters; also in the house were about 100 anarchists whom police had pepper-sprayed and arrested earlier that evening.

I am not sure that I understand the ferocity on the part of the police. This was not a violent action on the part of the artist. The tamping down of street artists sounds like censorship in my opinion. I have some of Shepard's remnants in some of my photos and have one of his Andre The Giant stencils in my personal collection. (Not displayed on the www.CharleneWeisler.com website)


As the new art season gets going, I too am expanding and revitalizing my art, beginning with a revamp of my website and the addition of this blog. My intent in launching the blog is to jot down my observations on how the street art scene is changing, adapting, breaking out or, sadly in some cases, disappearing.

In New York City, for example, gentrification is wiping out many of my favorite graffiti and street art spots - the art that propelled the neighborhood into gentrification! The East Village in particular is losing the art vitality as is the Lower East Side. Many of my favorite streets (like Ludlow where I found "Big Foot") is almost totally "purged" of street art. I mourn the loss.