The defaced Fairey mural (via Copenhagen Post)

Last weekend, some Danes beat up commercial propagandist street artist Shepard Fairey outside a nightclub calling him an “Obama illuminati” and telling him to “go back to America.”

Mural defaced (via Guardian)

According to the Guardian, Fairey inadvertently stepped into a political controversy when he placed a “peace” mural on a site that is still rife with conflict and in the process he enraged the country’s leftist anarchists. Since it was completed, his mural has been vandalized with numerous slogans but one stands out as perhaps the best diss of a Fairey mural known to humanity, “Go Home, Yankee Hipster.” Just.WOW! 

The Copenhagen Post mentions that the mural “opens old wounds” and they explain:

With Fairey receiving a 250,000 kroner subsidy from the city council – who did not stop the eviction and demolition of Ungdomshuset in 2007 – to paint the murals, many felt the work had a political undertone.

Fairey says the mural wasn’t commissioned by the government. He has also blogged about his experience in Denmark a little and we expect he’ll write about the attack soon enough but until then all the fanboys should know that he’s apparently fine.

UPDATE: Fairey has posted about the Copenhagen incident on Obey Giant.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

21 replies on “Danes Tell Shepard Fairey “Go Home, Yankee Hipster””

  1. When artists (good or bad, hipster or not) start getting beat up (by the left or right winged) then you know the jackboots pounding their fascist beat on the pavement will be the next sound we will hear….

    1. They already have been… and thats sort of the point the anarchists are making.  Thats why they have a problem with Fairey’s mural.  The government has been the one not endorsing peace and not willing to let the anarchists live their lives.

      1. Ah, but there’s the rub….beating up an artist just tells me that there is a fascist mentality here. I do not care what a bully calls themselves politically. In the end we end up with the jackboots. Real revolution begins with a pen and a brush. You fight the bastards with those first. The rest comes if it’s an organic revolution.

  2. well, we are leftist anarchists.  and we say yes, photoshop a giant arrow into the picture!  in fact let’s go to denmark with a giant blue arrow sticker and stick it on the mural personally!  cuz then we clearly are making a deep social comment about something really terribly important with our graffiti, whereas without the arrow it’s all just exactly what it really is, which is “meh.  grafitti.”

    also, note to danish anarchists:  is “yankee” the best you can do?  we know you can do better than that.  we know you have it in you.  the country that produced soren kierkkegaard can surely come up with an actual zinger.  c’mon denmark!  it would have been really funny if you went with “gringo”.  we’d reblog that one!

    1. I don’t think I could’ve handled it if they used gringo. Europeans using the term gringo for an American would’ve made me laugh so hard I may have died. And I have to admit, I like the fact that the graff “Hipster” comment was so badly done. Kind of makes it funnier.

  3. Go on home yankee hipster go on home, have you got no fukkin homes of your own!!
    Copenhagen sounds like a place I would visit. Good peoples! Beautiful graff! And no fuckin love for dumb sell out neo liberal fashion art cunts! Bless the vikings

  4. Honestly, I think the fact that Shepard Fairey is still out there getting beat up speaks to the fact that he is not some media mogul sell-out, but is still a real street artist. I don’t care how much money he’s making, I still have mad respect for this man.

  5. What bugs me the most is Shepard is always acting like he is not trying to make any money. This situation is a perfect example. He tried to make the excuse that “This mural did not even have the word Obey in it” so how could he be using it to profit, when there is a HUGE ANDRE THE GIANT stencil right in the middle of the wall. IT MIGHT AS WELL SO OBEY because is the logo of his brand. This is very disingenious.  HE should have done more research on the matter before he tried to play PEACEMAKER.

  6. sorry but he goes on about he isn’t taking money from the city council for THIS mural but the reality is that he is taking money from the city for other murals. He claims to be “street artist” yet he has gallery representation all over the world, is a paid professional arts and did indeed does get paid for what he does from both private and public funding. Surely since he has such a history with the space and he is SO socially aware all these concerns would have come up to him BEFORE he created the mural.

    Also his claiming to be a world citizen does not make it so. I can claim to be a victoria’s secret’s model because I look at the catalogs a lot but it doesn’t make it so. How can he claim to be a street artist in Denmark when his mural have none of the messages that a street artist in Denmark would have?

    Also punk music and skateboard culture have another thing is common. middle class white boys claiming to be oppressed and street.

  7. There is no such thing as a hipster intelligentsia. These people are harmless as long as they stay in conformed places like Vice Magazine parties and corny art shows where they can take snapshots of each other and and talk about fashion. But it becomes very serious when they start to claim public space with all their bullshit brands and “street” logos. 

    This Obey guy got beat up and got his mural destroyed by the same people he claims to represent.

  8. this is the most exciting thing that’s happened to shepard fairey since he got barack elected!

  9. Shepard has gone over so many graffiti writers work, and has been saved from beatings. He just rapes the scene, interns are putting up his “illegale” posters, not looking at what they are doing. Fighting is negative. But be aware Farrrry needs to take some time and rethink his place.

    1. As a “street artist” it would be hypocritical for Fairey to call what happened to his mural vandalism.  A largely monkey-see-monkey-do genre “street art” is for the most part reflective of angst and operates from a standpoint of disrespect for public and private property so the idea of another graffiti artist not defacing a fellow graffiti artist’s work is hypocrisy ad infinitum.

  10. with a name like Fairey, you’re bound to get picked on.

     Fairey as a kid probably had playground bullies saying things like:
     “Hey, Fairey why don;t you come fly through my window and put change under my pillow, I lost a tooth!”
     “Here come’s Tinkerbell! Let’s get ‘im!”
    surely he’s used to it.

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