Out of the 28 graffit-related charges the Suffolk District Attorney's Office has been trying to slap Shepard Fairey with for the last 9 years, only three stuck. And while the DA may be trying to hype the fact that Shepard did plead guilty in the end to three of those counts -- the DA's press release headline reads: "Fairey Pleads Guilty To Multiple Property Damage Charges" -- they were also forced to note the 25 other charges that didn't stick:
"Also today, prosecutors affirmatively moved to terminate the prosecution of 11 additional graffiti-related charges against Fairey. Prosecutors had previously terminated the prosecution of 14 complaints after a review of the evidence led them to believe they could not prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt," the Suffolk County DA's press release read.
In the end, Shepard Fairey pled guilty to putting a sticker on a traffic sign in Fort Point, and postering an electricl box on Brighton Avenue along with a Back Bay condo. Hardly vandalism of the cataclysmic nature.
Depending on who you talk to about this, it's either a win for public safety in Boston, or the end of a notable nuisance against artists.
While Shepard may not be allowed to bring his wheat-glue or "tools of the trade" back into the city for any illegal activity (he also agreed to pay $2000 to help clean up his artwork and to make an apology to Boston residents), the Phoenix welcomes the artist to come back to our offices to touch up his artwork on our building.
Shepard is due back in town for the ICA's Obey Experiment REDUX on July 31. His Supply and Demand exhibit will be on display while he spins at the Boston waterfront location with Z-Trip, and a special-guest appearance by Public Enemy's Chuck D. (Tickets are sold out.) Shepard's exhibit at the ICA, "Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand", will be on display until August 16, 2009.