Ouch! “Yankee Hipster” Shepard Fairey Beaten in Copenhagen

Artist Shepard Fairey–whose Obama “Hope” poster became the iconic emblem of the 2008 Obama campaign, and the centerpiece of Fair Use vs copyright lawsuit which the artist lost–was beaten up in Copenhagen after leaving the opening of his exhibition there. The attackers called him

Obama illuminati

and gave him a black eye and cracked ribs. Earlier, Fairey’s mural commemorating the 2007 demolition of the legendary leftist commune “Ungdomshuset” (youth house) at Jagtvej 69 was defaced with the words

Go home, Yankee hipster

Now that hurts!

The Guardian reports

Fairey’s installation, painted on a building adjacent to the vacant site, depicted a dove in flight above the word “peace” and the figure “69”. But the mural appeared to reopen old wounds, with critics accusing Fairey of peddling government-funded propaganda…

Within a day of completion, the mural was vandalised by protesters, with graffiti sending messages of “no peace” and “go home, Yankee hipster”. Fairey subsequently collaborated with former members of the 69 youth house to redecorate the lower half of the installation. His new version contains images of riot police and explosions, together with a new, more combative slogan: “Nothing forgotten, nothing forgiven”.

Fairey told the Guardian that

The media reported that it was commissioned by the city, which wasn’t true.

He added his Copenhagen gallery organized the mural and that he did not report the attack to the police:

I’m not a huge fan of the cops anyway. The only thing I could see coming out of it was further media commentary like ‘street artist whiner Shepard Fairey can’t hold it down in a fight so he snitches to the cops.’

Fairey has been arrested numerous times for committing street art, most recently in February of 2009, when cops nabbed him on outstanding warrants before he began DJing at the opening of his Institute of Contemporary Art exhibit Supply and Demand. Recently, Mrs. Fairey told TMZ that it was

a long time ago

when Shepard did his own street art postering, much to Fairey’s evident displeasure. Double ouch.


photo: screen grab, TMZ ; H/T: LAWeekly

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.