Duplicate graffiti, on the other hand, is relatively common, according to the U-M's Schudlich; some artists specialize in stencils and appliques. One of the best-known political images of all time, the Obama "Hope" poster, was created by such a mass duplicator, the self-described graffiti "writer" Shepherd Fairey, who, as reported by the Boston Globe, was arrested in early 2009 for tagging two sites in Beantown.
If tagging is considered a youth crime, Fairey, thirty-nine at the time of his arrest, breaks the stereotype. Nor do perpetrators fit the black, Latino, or Asian profile commonly linked to gang graffiti in large American cities. Fairey, a Los Angeles resident even at the time of his Boston arrest, is white, along with at least two of the recently apprehended Ann Arbor taggers.
Graffiti artists aren't exclusively male, either, according to reports--though some say the inherent dangers of isolated nighttime locations helps tip the gender balance.