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Arts News

'Free Revok' Movement For Jailed Street Artist as Supporters Organize Gallery Fundraiser

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Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:02 AM
click to enlarge Revok, up. - BERT 23
  • bert 23
  • Revok, up.

Hours after spray-can artist Revok received a 180-day sentence for violating terms of his probation for vandalism, the L.A. street art community rallied and pledged to hold a fundraiser in his honor.

Revok, a.k.a 34-year-old Jason Williams, was arrested last week as he attempted to head to Ireland via LAX. Sheriff's officials told us the L.A. City Attorney had notified them a warrant had been issued for his arrest. They figured out where he was and nabbed him.

He was being held in lieu of $320,000 bail before being sentenced yesterday to 180 days.

A July fundraiser at POPgallery in Culver City [corrected]: Pop Gallery in Windsor, Canada near Detroit, where Revok has been living, was in the works, according Revok's Twitter friends. It's not clear what it's for since he's been sentenced and can't bail out.

click to enlarge Revok. - GREGORY BOJORQUEZ
  • Gregory Bojorquez
  • Revok.

However he still owes restitution based on a vandalism case. In fact that $3,764.97 in unpaid restitution is what triggered the arrest warrant, a City Attorney's spokesman told the Weekly.

Revok was arrested in 2009 during the Coachella festival and again last year near a graffiti art store, authorities said. That 2009 arrest led to probation, they said.

His work was featured in MOCA's groundbreaking "Art in the Streets" exhibition, which opened last weekend and which has also attracted unauthorized street art in the Little Tokyo area.

Some in the street art scene are accusing law enforcers of targeting their genre on purpose to make an example of them while the show is drawing the spotlight.

The Los Angeles Times reported that famed French street artist Space Invader was arrested and released earlier this month following the spate of outdoor murals in Little Tokyo -- near MOCA's Geffen Contemporary.

That arrest was made by the LAPD.

Coincidentally or not, Revok made headlines at LA Weekly April 8 when a graffiti clean-up crew contracted by the city of L.A. accidentally began to whitewash a mural he and some associates had put up outside a Fairfax art gallery with permission.

The company that made the mistake vowed to restore the work.

Sheriff's Lt. Vince Carter, who helped spearhead the arrest of Revok, says his enforcement has nothing to do with "Art in the Streets" -- that it's part of an ongoing, "all-out war" against graffiti."

Supporters of Revok have started a #freerevok hashtag at Twitter.

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