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Artist Shepard Fairey arrested in Boston

Shepard Fairey, the artist famous for his red, white, and blue HOPE posters of President Obama, was arrested Friday night on warrants accusing him of tagging property with graffiti, the Associated Press reports. Fairey was arrested on his way to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art for an opening of his first solo exhibition, called “Supply and Demand.” Two warrants were issued for Fairey on January 24 after police determined he had tagged property in two locations with graffiti based on the “Andre the Giant” street-art campaign from his early career, said police officer James Kenneally. Fairey has spent the past two weeks in the Boston area installing the ICA exhibition and creating outdoor art, including a twenty-by-fifty-foot banner on the side of City Hall.

Fairey’s Obama image has been sold on hundreds of thousands of stickers and posters and was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, before Obama's inauguration. The image is also currently the subject of a copyright dispute with the Associated Press. Fairey argues his use of the AP photo is protected by fair use, which allows exceptions to copyright laws based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for, and how the original is affected by the new work.