Last night before a benefit he was scheduled to participate in at a loft in Soho, the street artist known as Poster Boy was arrested by an undercover cop. Poster Boy was listed on a flyer for the event, a festival put on for Friends We Love, a series of videos documenting the process of a dozen different artists, including Poster Boy, who talked with us just last week.
Photographer Jim Kiernan tipped us off to the arrest. He arrived at event at Broadway and Howard Street to meet up with Poster Boy around 7 p.m., but police had already arrived after spotting the Poster Boy's name on the flyer. Kiernan says, "There was an undercover cop on the block and they came and picked him up. As far as I know, he's still in Central Booking right now and waiting to get in front of a judge...It's the second time they've gotten him."
There doesn't appear to be one specific piece or incident that triggered the arrest, but Kiernan wonders if it might have something to do with Poster Boy's recent move above ground, taking his "photochop" style and applying it to a Van Wagner billboard in Brooklyn. He told us, "He's f*ckin with money. He's cutting up advertising. Advertisers aren't happy about that. And I'm sure the Van Wagner people weren't thrilled."
Friends are waiting for Poster Boy to go before a judge and have bail set with hopes that it will happen today, but fearing that it may not be until Monday. Collaborating artists Ellis G. and Aakash Nihalani photochopped up a couple of impromptu pieces at last night's event declaring "Free Poster Boy!" and "NYPD=Joke". When asked if he thought the arrest would deter Poster Boy, Kiernan said, "It definitely won't—no way. His whole concept is that it's a movement. It's bigger than him."