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Keep Houston Press Free
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Houston, We Have a "Splasher" - Obama Mural Defaced

Whether it's the work of a copycat street artist or a political vigilante, the paint splatters we noticed this morning on the Obama "Hope" mural (at Alabama & Travis) resemble the ones that cropped up in New York City in 2007, defacing the works of prominent street artists like Shepard Fairey, Banksy and Swoon. "The Splasher," as he was called, left anti-street-art manifestos wheat-pasted near his splatters, accusing artists of cultural displacement and gentrification. "DESTROY THE MUSEUMS, IN THE STREETS AND EVERYWHERE," was one of the Splasher's favorite slogans.

And the works of Fairey, creator of the "Hope" image, were among his favorite targets.

Having researched the Splasher's shenanigans extensively for a theater production based on the 2007 NYC splatterings, Art Attack can vouch that the defacing looks identical to the Splasher's work, about as identical as a paint splatter on a Shepard Fairey image can look, that is. But it's inconclusive as to whether or not it's a copycat crime. The choice of red, white and blue splatters suggests that the defacement is more a political statement rather than a swipe at Fairey or street art. The Splasher often used different colors in his attacks, but the groupings were random.

Some images of the Splasher's Fairey hits:

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