Street Artist Behind NYC Drone Posters Arrested

One of Essam Attia’s drone posters (image via

The New York Daily News reports that Essam Attia, the street artist behind the spy-drone PSA posters that popped up around the city last summer, has been arrested by the New York Police Department.

Attia’s satirical posters painted a picture of a dystopian future that sees the NYPD using drones to survey citizens and bomb illegal immigrants. Given that the police already picked him up … well, that might be more than a hint that drones are a bit of a sensitive issue for the cops.

The artist, who goes by the not-so-anonymous moniker of Essam, was charged with “56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny, possession of stolen property, and weapons possession,” though one wonders if the provocative content of the posters had something to do with his arrest.

The Huffington Post notes that the artist served as a geo-spatial analyst in the US Army, an experience that probably informed his posters, which take the silhouetted graphic language of city government announcements and twists it. One poster is topped with an ominous, staring face, the words “Always Watching” emblazoned next to it.

It sounds like Shepard Fairey could learn a little bit about being topical from Attia, though Attia needs a lesson or two in evading the police. He’s being held at a bail of a $10,000 bond or $2,500 cash and is due back in court December 3.

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