Street Artist Shepard Fairey Files Lawsuit Against AP
By Emily Waldorf
Street-artist Shepard Fairey filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against The Associated Press, requesting that he be protected from copyright infringement in his use of a news photograph as the starting point for his famous poster of President Obama. The photograph was taken by freelance photographer Mannie Garcia, who, to complicate matters even further, is arguing that the photograph belongs to him and not The Associated Press.
According to Randy Kennedy’s article in The New York Times, Mr. Fairey’s lawyers are arguing that “Mr. Fairey used the photograph only as a reference and transformed it into a ‘stunning, abstracted and idealized visual image that created powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message’ from that of the shot Mr. Garcia took.
Mr. Fairey is a well-known guerilla style street artist, who was arrested last week in Boston for illegally pasting his artwork. He was ironically en route to the opening of his first solo exhibition, “Supply and Demand,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art. He has pleaded not guilty. Last month, Mr. Fairey’s Obama “Hope” poster was donated to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
Filed under: art law, contemporary art, Los Angeles, photography | 3 Comments
Tags: AP, arrested, Boston, graffiti art, guerilla art, Institute of Contemporary Art, lawsuit, Mannie Garcia, Obama Hope poster, Shepard Fairey, street art, The Associated Press