Black Eyed and Bruised Ribbed, Shepard Fairey Offers Up His View of the Recent Attack Against Him in Copenhagen

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This past weekend, as you may have heard, artist Shepard Fairey was physically assaulted shortly after the opening of an exhibition of his work in Copenhagen. He and his Obey colleague, Romeo Trinidad, were reportedly jumped while exiting a nightclub, attacked by a number of men who screamed at Fairey to “Go back to America” and that he was “Obama illuminati.” By the time they’d run off, the artist had a bruised rib and a black eye. All of this followed something of a giant wall-scaling mural Fairey had painted in the city, near where a famous youth house once stood, which some local residents had seen as an encroachment by the government, despite the painting’s call for peace. After lots of press attention, Fairey himself has posted on his blog about the contentious debate over the mural and the hostilities that popped up around it (it was almost immediately defaced), why the media often seemed to slightly side more with his attackers (case in point, the Miami New Times‘ headline, “Did Shepard Fairey Deserve to Get Beat Up by Danish Anarchists?“), and offering up his view of the fight from inside the middle of the fray. Here’s a bit:

I unthreateningly asked him why he was saying that stuff to me, and what his problem with me was. He just said “YOU HAVE THE PROBLEM” and did the chest shove every visitor to a playground has experienced. Then as he raised his fists I was clocked from the side by someone I never saw. The next thing you know I’m being attacked by at least 3 guys and Romeo jumps in to help me. It was crowded, and people tried to pull everyone apart which somehow left Romeo being ganged up on by a couple guys, so I had to jump back in to help him, while I was being punched and kneed by people behind me.

They quickly ran off , and it seemed that things were over except for my wife freaking out across the parking lot. I was wrong, somehow the attackers had snuck back through the crowd and I caught a punch in the eye out of nowhere as I turned to see Romeo pushed against a wall being punched and kneed in the back. I tried to help him again, and after brief retaliation the attackers fled again.