Friday, July 10, 2009

Local Law Strokes Fairey's Wrist

The free spirited draftsman disguised and self-packaged as an artist, Shepard Fairey walks among us again. Lackaday, he can no longer carry wheat paste in Boston...for two years at least.

After another overblown display by the local constabulary and prosecutors, we were back to where we (and I specifically) predicted in March. He pleaded guilty to a couple of graffiti-related charges, the others disappeared, and he paid a $2,000 fine.

That's what should have been done at the time and he was willing. Instead, true property destruction continued unabated by others, to say nothing of violence. It was a classic Boston moment, reminiscent of the Mooninites. It's good theater; I just wish it wasn't the kind of comedy that keeps the rest of the country chuckling at us.

Over at the Herald, the usual suspects did not waste any time calling for his long-term jailing. So far, there haven't been any calls for castration or corporal punishment, but it's early yet.

As the other daily puts it, the punishment for the California resident is:
..a plea deal that will prohibit him from carrying stickers, posters, wheat paste, brushes, and other tools of the graffiti trade while in Suffolk County for the next two years. Under the arrangement, Fairey pleaded guilty to three vandalism charges and must pay a $2,000 fine to one of his adversaries, Graffiti NABBers for the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay.

In a statement, Fairey apologized to the citizens of Boston for "posting my art in unauthorized spaces without the consent of the owner."

In other words, the rich commercial artist who might have no plans or reason to be here for the next decade is out $2,000. We have every cause to believe that the hoo-ha our civic protectors caused has generated many times that in poster, print and clothing sales. It's the local prosecutors who should have cut a plea bargain — for a percentage of sales.

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