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Shepard Fairey Opens Up About Last Year’s Battle with the AP (and Himself)


Speaking of street artists, Shepard Fairey might have just landed the choice gig as the closer of the Deitch Projects, but out in Los Angeles this week, he was revealing all and coming clean. During and after a taping for a web-based interview show, Fairey opened up about his troubles last year with the Associate Press over his now-iconic Obama poster. You’ll recall that, just months after Fairey was heard complaining about people copying the image on his poster, a legal battle broke out and lasted throughout most of 2009 between the artist and the AP, first with Fairey denying that he’d used one of their photographer’s images as his source for the poster, then a bunch of lawsuits and countersuits followed, and finally the artist changed his story and admitted that he’d been lying all along. Now, out in LA, he’s spelling it all out, talking at length about the troublesome year and what he’s expecting to come in the future:

Fairey said it’s his bank account that’s apt to get ripped open now, as the federal judge in New York who is presiding over his dispute with AP decides what the penalty should be for his false submission. “I’ll be fined, and it might be a lot of money.” He said that sales of the “Hope” poster earned about $800,000 — all of which was either plowed back into producing Obama bumper stickers and other campaign paraphernalia, or donated to the Obama campaign and to Feeding America and the American Civil Liberties Union.

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