Archive for the ‘Prisoners of Art’ Category


Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Originally Published TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012
Article by Modesto Anarcho (

Imagine relaxing in your apartment after work with your family to hear a knock at the door. Upon answering it, you learn that it’s the local police department and they have a warrant to search you home. You sign the paper as they barge through the door and go straight to your room. They leave, only after taking your drawings, silk-screens, books, and take pictures of your stickers and signatures of friends who have passed through. Later in court, you learn that the police were given false information that you were a well known graffiti artist by a snitch that was arrested for vandalism. They use pictures of stickers of famous graffiti artists and tags of your friends to convict you of being someone you are not. You now are facing months and possibly more in jail…

This story isn’t a hypothetical situation, it actually happened to a young Delhi man named Paul Lopez. Recently,Modesto Anarcho began corresponding with Paul, aka “PJ,” who this winter was found guilty of a felony and a misdemeanor count of vandalism, as well as violating his probation, for the crime most commonly referred to as graffiti. The crimes that Lopez is accused of committing took place sometime in late 2009 to early 2010. Lopez is accused of spray painting “MUSKET,” the handle for a prominent graffiti writer, across the wall of a Delhi Mexican restaurant. But while PJ is accused of these crimes by the police in the previously mentioned window of time, the Delhi Express reported that the restaurant was in-fact painted in July of 2009, almost half a year before PJ was accused of the graffiti. During his trial, Lopez was also accused by the DA’s office of being yet another graffiti writer, RESON.

This is not the first time that PJ has been arrested for graffiti. Several years ago he was found by police out at night with art supplies and pled guilty to vandalism charges. Despite this incident, PJ remains a creative and talented artist. However, it was his background and previous arrest that was used in part by the courts to help portray PJ as the vandal in question.

Whenever we hear about cases of graffiti artists being locked up by the state and the victims of police harassment and raids on their homes, our hearts go out to them. We understand the war on graffiti and the largely poor and working class people who engage in it to be part of an effort by the state to attack rebellious behavior and enforce property relations. As we wrote in Modesto Anarcho #14: “[G]raffiti…is a culture and an art form that comes from us. From the urban poor. The working class. The criminal element…despite every attempt to commercialize it, it stays illegal and autonomous from corporations and the rich. Graffiti does not ask for space. It takes space.


AEROSOL ADDICTS – Santa Cruz, CA – May 14th, 2011

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Endless Canvas plans on tabling at this event in Santa Cruz on Saturday.
Come grab some zines off us, get a tattoo and jump in the ocean.

UPFUK – Ballpoint Illustration from Jail

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Upfuk Graffiti art from jail.
This is a ballpoint pen Illustration UpFuk sent us from jail.
Upfuk is doing time for making art on the street. His spirit remains unbroken and he’s churning out a lot of great work.
Free UpFuk, free Vater and free all prisoners of art!

UPFUK – Letters from Jail

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

UpFuk sent us some illustrations from jail.  We just wanted to say happy birthday UpFuk!
Free UpFuk, free Vator and free all prisoners of art.

UP FUK of ATB Crew – Original Painting for Sale

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Up Fuk Original Graffiti Painting.

Up Fuk is going to jail soon over graffiti. In solidarity we wanted to try and sell this piece before he goes in.

Available for a limited time here…

Victory for Photojournalist Jonas Lara

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

LA based photojournalist Jonas Lara was arrested for documenting two graffiti artists painting an illegal mural on February 2, 2010.  He was being charged with Aiding and Abetting and was facing up to a year in prison.

Thanks to the photographer community, enough funds were raised to defend him in court and everything was reduced to a disturbing the peace infraction and $200 restitution.  There was a court order to get his gear back, but the police were jerking him around.  If we hear anything more about him not getting his equipment back, we should pool together and help him get a new camera.

Here is the article about when he was first arrested:

Here is the article about his court victory:

Check out Lara’s website:

Call For Art – SAVE HIMBAER!!

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Save Himbaer!

Street Artists are constantly risking there freedom and lives to improve our grey world.  Street Art is free, but it is the Artist who pays the price.  If you enjoy Street Art please show solidarity with Himbaer and consider donating some art to his cause.  This is also a good way to get your art exhibited in Germany.  Maybe get a few friends together to share shipping.



This photo was taken off his flickr page.

This is the call he put out…

Hey friends!
I feel a bit ashamed for opening this group, but it might be a good chance not to have my life destroyed.
A while ago I was caught doing illegal graffity. Now the court sended me a letter, saying the damage is worth 3000Euro+ and that they want to send me to prison for a short periode.
My lawyer told me the more damage I could pay directly, the less punishment I have to expect. Going to prison, even for a very short time would destroy all my plans for the future, ’cause I’m on the way to become a primary school teacher.
Now I want to do an art exhibition in the last two weeks of january. Miss Manou was so kind to let me use her design-shop `Herr Pfeffer` in Würzburg, germany. (

Now I’m asking you to SPEND A LITTLE ARTWORK for the exhibtion. Even a small thing would help me a lot!

If you want to partizipate, just send me a mail and you’ll get all the contact details.

THANKS A LOT, and a wonderfull christmas time!

Hallo Freunde!
Ist mir irgendwie peinlich, aber vielleicht eine gute Chance das schlimmste abzuwenden.
Bin vor einiger Zeit in Bayern beim sprühen erwischt worden und jetzt kam Post vom Gericht. Sie sagen, dass allein der Schaden mindestens 3000 Euro beträgt und dass sie Vorschlagen, mich für eine Weile in den Knast zu stecken!
Mein Anwalt meinte, dass je mehr Schaden ich sofort begleichen kann, desto kleiner meine Strafe ausfallen würde. Hoffe sehr, dass ich es schaffe, unter 90 Tagessätzen Strafe zu bleiben, da dann keine Vorstrafe bei herauskommt. Da ich Grundschullehrer werden möchte, würde mir eine Vorstrafe alles versauen.
Hab mir überlegt, eine Ausstellung zu machen um so etwas Geld aufzutreiben. Miss Manou war so nett, mir ihren Designladen `Herr Pfeffer` für die letzten beiden Januarwochen zur Verfügung zu stellen. (
Und jetzt seid ihr gefragt:
Vielleicht ist es euch ja möglich, ein kleine Werk zu spenden, um mir mit dem Erlös aus der Patsche zu helfen.
Selbst eine Kleinigkeit würde mir schon sehr helfen!

Wenn ihr mitmachen wollt, schickt mir einfach eine kurze mail und ihr bekommt die Kontaktdaten.

Vielen Dank im Vorraus und euch allen eine schöne Weihnachtszeit!