Payback? Shepard Fairey’s iconic ‘Hope’ image of Obama gets a revamp

Nope Duggan
“Nope” image of Mayor Mike Duggan, whose crusade against street art and graffiti has been controversial. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Street artist Shepard Fairey gained national fame when he created the “Hope” image that came to symbolize President Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.

On the same week that a judge determined there was enough evidence for a trial in Fairey’s malicious destruction of property case in Detroit, a “Nope”poster of Mayor Mike Duggan was erected at Chene and Mack on the city’s east side.

Duggan has waged a controversial war against street art and graffiti at a time when police can’t respond adequately to violent crime. Fairey’s iconic images were posted on abandoned, dilapidated properties, some of which are tax-delinquent.

Although police have no witnesses to Fairey posting a single image, the 45-year-old was arrested and charged with two felonies that carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison.

We wonder whether Duggan will dispatch another team of investigators to determine who erected the “Nope” poster as violent crimes continue to go unsolved.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.