Poster Boy, more accurately Henry Matyjewicz who is one of the artists involved with the Poster Boy movement, was recently sentenced to 11-months in prison for a just few hundred dollars worth of “damages” (depending on your point of view) to ads on the New York subway system. Mark Batty Publisher, the publisher of Poster Boy’s upcoming book (can’t wait to get this in my hands), has started a Facebook group in support of Poster Boy. There are just a few hundred members of the group so far, but I’ve joined and I hope you will too.
This whole thing is absurd. Henry should not be in prison for making the world a less ad-filled cesspool, and even if he did damage a few ads and the advertisers think he needs to pay for that, 11-months is a vindictive and cruel sentence.
What really upsets me is that Poster Boy has clearly been targeted and is being made an example of solely because he modifies advertising. Poster Boy has done a great job of trying to stay anonymous, but the police crashed an art opening last year just to find him. And yet, much more public street artists like Mr. Brainwash and Swoon seem to avoid arrest without much difficulty. I’m not saying that they should be arrested, just that it’s clear that police specifically targeted Poster Boy. Maybe this is a stupid argument to be making. I dunno. At the very least, I think it’s fair to say that disbanding NYPD’s Vandal Squad and reassigning those police to investigating drug dealers would be a better use of taxpayer dollars. Anyway, that’s my rant about a crappy justice system.
Here’s a good quote from Poster Boy’s flickr:
“I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting.”
Once again, please join this Facebook group in support of Poster Boy and Henry.