Since 2008, commuters coming off the Southwest Freeway have been met by a large mural version of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of Barack Obama.
It adorns a shop, across the street from the Breakfast Klub, that served as the Obama campaign's Houston headquarters.
For at least the second time since going up, it's been defaced.
In 2009 someone scrawled the word "puppet" on it; this time it looks like less of an effort was made, and cans of paint were simply splashed onto the image.
Or is it actually an artistic statement rather than a political one? In 2007 someone went around defacing artworks by Fairey and others in New York; the perpetrator briefly became a hipster phenomenon, one that was examined by our own Troy Schulze in a DiverseWorks production.
Schulze's critical eye notes that the splatterer took pains to use different colors, and the result is far closer to the semi-famed Splasher's work than just a random defacing.
"Looks identical," he says. "As identical as a paint splatter on a Shepard Fairey image can look."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.