Shepard Fairey, the street artist behind the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster, turned himself in to authorities in Detroit on Tuesday to face felony vandalism charges.
Detroit police had issued an arrest warrant for Fairey in June after he illegally tagged buildings in the city in May, causing more than $9,000 of damage, according to The Detroit Free Press. The artist, known for geometric, graffiti-style murals, was in Detroit this spring to create artwork that was commissioned by the city, but he also reportedly did some unauthorized projects on the side.
Fairey, who is the executive producer of the MTV series “Rebel Music,” was out of the country when the charges initially were mounted but flew to Detroit on Monday evening. He was arraigned Tuesday in Detroit and his bond was set at $75,000.
The “artist-who-turned-legit” openly admitted to tagging in an interview in May. “I still do stuff on the street without permission,” he told The Detroit Free Press in an interview. “I’ll be doing stuff on the street when I’m in Detroit.”
This is not the first time Fairey has had a brush with the law. In 2012, he was fined $25,000 and sentenced to two years of probation for tampering with evidence in a bitter copyright feud with his “Hope” poster’s original Associated Press photographer.
If he is found guilty in Detroit, Fairey faces a maximum of five years in jail and fines in excess of $10,000; a preliminary hearing will be held July 28.