Before we begin, "Steven Free" is a far better name than "Girafa." It's action-packed! But since male artists love, love, love using stage names, he obviously had to get a new one; after all, he was committing illegal acts of painting. We digress.
Yesterday morning, San Jose police announced the arrest one of "the most prolific graffiti artists in the Bay Area," Steven Free, 30, most commonly known as Girafa. Free was nabbed on a $100,000 warrant, charged with "10 felony cases in San Jose involving $40,000 in damages."
CoCo Times reports, "During a search of his San Francisco home, officers discovered thousands of pictures of graffiti with the "Girafa" moniker and cartoon characters of giraffes on several of his social Web sites."
San Jose police officer Jermaine Thomas said that Free "was just causing a lot of vandalism around the Bay Area, anywhere he would find a spot, he would use this moniker." (What's wrong with a little, or a lot, of branding? Sheesh. The fuzz are a bunch of squares.)
Criminal mischief aside, his stuff looked nifty. What I'm Seeing interviewed him earlier this year. When asked why people loved/hated him so mich, Free responded, "I don’t know for sure. I try not to pay attention to it on both sides. It makes me laugh. You can’t escape it. Its part of graffiti [...] It’s not my job to try and change other people’s feelings about me. My job is to do what I do regardless of an audience and what they think."