Saturday, October 17, 2009

a threat to journalism

The artist who designed the famous Barack Obama "HOPE" poster has admitted he didn't use the Associated Press photo he originally said his work was based on but instead used a picture the news organization has claimed was his source. "In an attempt to conceal my mistake, I submitted false images and deleted other images," said Fairey, who has been involved in countersuits with the AP, which has alleged copyright infringement. "I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment, and I take full responsibility for my actions, which were mine alone." He said he was taking steps to correct the information and regretted that he didn't come forward sooner. Fairey, 39, had claimed he based his "HOPE" drawing on a photo of then-Sen. Obama seated next to actor George Clooney. The photo was taken in April 2006 by Mannie Garcia, on assignment for the AP, at the National Press Club in Washington. Fairey now says he started with a solo photograph of Obama _ taken at the same event, by the same photographer _ a picture seemingly closer to the iconic red, white and blue image of Obama, underlined with the caption HOPE. The AP has long maintained that Fairey used the solo shot. The "Hope" image has appeared on countless posters, stickers and buttons. It has appeared in several books and in numerous museums, including a mixed-media stenciled collage version added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Fairey also used the AP photograph for an image designed specially for the Obama inaugural committee, which charged anywhere from $100 for a poster to $500 for a poster signed by the artist. -HILLEL ITALIE AP