While returning from a trip abroad, graffiti artist Shepard Fairey was arrested at LAX last week. Fairey, 45, accepted a commission from Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert to paint an 185-foot-tall mural at One Campus Martius (formerly Compuware's HQ) this spring. And then he tagged fourteen other buildings in Detroit without permission. In June, DPD issued a warrant for Fairey's arrest for causing $9K in property damage to nine of the buildings (owners of the others were either MIA or declined to press charges).
Police officials said then that Fairey would face arrest if he returned to the Motor City, but the artist was arrested at LAX after returning from a trip to Europe because the Detroit felony warrant created a flag on Fairey's passport. News of the arrest became official over the weekend, though Fairey was arrested on July 6. After a night in jail, Fairey was freed when Detroit declined to extradite him.
Detroiters have greeted Fairey's mural at One Campus Martius with mixed reviews. The massive artwork, commissioned by Gilbert, was among a series of invited works on local buildings by the internationally renowned graffiti artist. Police are talking to Fairey's attorneys to arrange for the artist to turn himself in. Local blogs point out the hypocrisy in Gilbert's support of Fairey—just last year, he gave police footage of taggers taken from one of the many cameras his holdings have deployed all over midtown, and exhorted employees to identify the girls captured by the video, leading to the arrest of three Grosse Pointe teens whose tags included the words "welcome to Detroit," one of the girls' nicknames, and what MLive described as "vulgar language."
·Commissioned Work at Z Garage [Opportunity Detroit]
·Detroit Issues Fairey Arrest Warrant [The Architecture of Tomorrow/Douglas Turner]
·Grosse Pointe Teens Arrested [MLive]
·Police have Questions about Shepard Fairey Tags [Daily Detroit]
·Shepard Fairey Arrested [Daily Free Press]
·Fairey Arrested at LAX [Detroit Free Press]
·Fairey Finishes Detroit Mural [Detroit Free Press]
·Fairey Alleged Felonious by DPD [Curbed Detroit]
·Fairey Mocks Surveillance [Motor City Muckraker]