Skateboarder and artist Shepard Fairey will be in court on July 16th for charges related to his famous “Hope” poster for the Obama campaign. Fairey created the print in 2008 and it became the most last image of the elections that year. However, it was later revealed that he did not have permission to use the Associated Press photo that the print uses. The case was eventually settled in civil court, but he faces charges for criminal contempt during his legal battle. If convicted, Fairey faces a $5,000 fine and may end up serving six months in jail.
Fairey has been an avid skateboarder since his teenage years in South Carolina, and continued skating while at art school in Rhode Island. “Skateboarding and art both find a balance between creativity, practice to develop style and technique, and natural ability. I think the best artists and skateboarders are free spirits and risk takers who are passionate about honing their skills,” he said in an interview with Transworld Skateboarding Magazine in January. Fairey eventually took over the fashion world as well with his Obey Clothing line. Fairey’s art was featured in an Art in the Streets exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles last spring, alongside work from artists like Banksy and Spike Jonze.
In this video, Fairey discusses how graffiti, skateboarding, and punk rock music have influenced his life.
For more on Shepard Fairey’s legal battle, go here