Shepard Fairey Image via Detroit Free Press Shepard Fairey
Image via Detroit Free Press

Fairey was in Detroit working on a mural he had been commissioned to create at One Campus Martius. It has been reported he openly discussed plans to produce work illegally whilst in the city.

"I still do stuff on the street without permission. I'll be doing stuff on the street when I'm in Detroit," Fairey said in May in an interview with the Detroit Free Press.

Following his illegal artwork appearing in Detroit, the artist has been charged with two counts of malicious destruction of property following an arrest warrant being filed in Detroit's 36th District Court this month. Fairey could be landed with a five year jail sentence and a fine of up to $10 000.

The illegal artwork has, according to a report in The Detroit Free Press, caused $9 000 worth of damage. Police are now calling for him to give himself up or he could be arrested whilst on his next trip to Michigan.

Detroit Police Sgt. Rebecca McKay insisted:"Just because he is well-known does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal."

"And that's what we consider was done, in these instances, was vandalism."

The executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, Elysia Borowy-Reeder said: "This is a whole genre that's become institutionalized, you'll always have some outliers go back to where they started and where they get their inspiration."

Fairey has been arrested over 15 times for vandalism crimes. He was also fined $25 000 for crimes involving tampering evidence in a case against the Associated Press regarding his famous Obama Hope poster.