Now open through November 10, Project One Gallery in San Francisco presents “The Rebirth,” an exhibition of work by New York graffiti legend Cope2. Widely recognized as one of New York City’s most famous and prolific graffiti writers, this self-taught artist has been a fixture of the street scene for over 30 years. More recently, his paintings have been displayed in galleries across the United States and abroad.
Cope2, who began tagging his name in the South Bronx in the late 1970s, developed his distinctive style painting subways throughout the ‘80s, and garnered mainstream renown in the ‘90s. Known worldwide for his splashy “throw-up” bubble letters and intricate “wildstyle” pieces or “burners,” Cope2’s crossover appeal has led to commissions from Time magazine, Converse, Adidas, and the New York Yankees. His work has also appeared in videogames such as Grand Theft Auto IV.
Cope2’s graffiti made him an icon, but he has since shifted his focus to studio work. He explains, “The NYC subway era died many years ago, so I have transitioned all that energy and experience to mixed media paintings. To me, it’s like being reborn as an artist and starting over. That’s why I called this show ‘The Rebirth.’” Painting on canvases in a studio has allowed Cope2 to channel his raw energy into abstract masterpieces, incorporating a more textured complexity while retaining his original urban style and trademark lettering techniques.
Venerated in the streets, sought after for his commercial work, and celebrated in the art world, Cope2’s talent and versatility transcends all boundaries.
Through November 10, 2012
Project One Gallery
San Francisco, California