Shepard Fairey Admits to Lying About Which Obama Photo He Used For Iconic Poster


Artist Shepard Fairey, who was sued by the Associated Press for using one of their photos as the basis for his famous “Hope” poster, and who in turn sued them back for his right to use the photo under fair use, has admitted he’s been lying almost all along about which photo he used. The crux of the AP’s argument has been that the photo they think Fairey used, of Obama sitting alone, was not altered enough by the artist to count as fair use. Fairey now admits that, while he originally thought he used a photo of Obama sitting next to actor George Clooney, he realized early on that he was wrong and didn’t change his story in court or in interviews.

The artist expressed his remorse in his statement, saying that he is taking “full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner. 

He added: “I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family who have supported me in this difficult case and trying time in my life.”

Fairey joked about the incident yesterday at a Pittsburgh art show, according to the AP:

”I am learning from my mistakes, if everybody’s been keeping up with the news.”

The lesson: when in doubt, always use a picture you can crop George Clooney out of before turning it into art. And also, don’t lie. [AP, LAT]