Fernando Carlo (also known as Cope2) is an artist from the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, New York. He has been a graffiti artist since 1978-79, and has gained international credit [clarification needed] for his work. Though he is now known worldwide as being a general founder of graffiti, he didn't receive recognition in the mainstream graffiti world until the mid-1990s. Cope2's cousin "Chico 80" influenced Cope into writing. In 1982 he made his own crew called Kids Destroy and eventually it changed to Kings Destroy after he dubbed himself "King of the 4 Line". Cope2 is well known for his "throw-up" and is also a user of "wildstyle" graffiti, a style which originated in the Bronx.
Some of Cope2's initial commercial artwork has been sold on Christie's auction block for $1,000(USD) per paintingworld. Early work includes cover art for a Boogie Down Productions album titled Sex and Violence.
In 2002, Cope2 provided artwork for Adam Bhala Lough's Bomb the System, including the infamous piece on the Brooklyn Bridge. He can be seen on the DVDs behind the scene footage painting one of the pieces at the end of the film.
In 2003, Cope2's book entitled Cope2: True Legend was published by Righters.com.
Also in 2005, Time magazine commissioned Cope2, for $20,000(USD), to paint a billboard ad in the SoHo district of Manhattan, New York on Houston and Wooster. The ad depicts the magazines cover with graffiti tags scrawled over it; the text reads "Post-Modernism? Neo-Expressionism? Time. Know Why".
In 2006, Cope2 appeared in Marc Ecko's video game, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. He features as one of the "graffiti legends" who gives the protagonist advice on the graffiti world. His "throw-up" is also widely recognizable throughout the game. Cope2's "throw-up" has also had appearances in other media productions. It has appeared on walls in the videogame GTA IV and in the movie Shrek The Third amongst others.
In 2008 Cope2 collaborated with Adidas and Footlocker to release a collection of clothes and accessories in Europe. The collection included baseball caps, jackets, T-shirts, sweaters, belts and sneakers.
In 2010, Cope2 appeared in an episode of LA Ink.
In 2011, Cope2 went on the roof of what once used to be Seward Park High School and did graffiti on two of the walls.
Over the last decade Cope2 has appeared numerous times in Videograf Production produced videos Videograf Issue 6, 9 and OverSpray 1.0.
Before the release of the game, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Cope2 called a local councilman, Peter Vallone Jr., to complain about the shutting down of a 2005 publicity event for the title. The event, coordinated by Mark Ecko, called for the spray painting of vintage train cars during a block party celebrating graffiti and hip hop culture. Vallone had the permit pulled for the event. The event permit was later reissued as Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan overturned the previous ruling on grounds of freedom of speech.
It has been said that Matthew Pulaski has been one of the main targets of the New York City Vandal Squad due to his high profile status in the graffiti world, however he openly brags to the police and others about his exploits and those of real graffiti artists.
Carlo was arrested as recently as September 2010 for allegedly painting subway cars in a tunnel in uptown Manhattan a year earlier. He was charged with two counts of felony mischief and one misdemeanor graffiti charge. The arrest took over a year as he was abroad. In the article Fernando Carlo stated "It was a nighttime hit," he told police after his arrest Wednesday morning, according to court records. "I don't paint trains in the daytime. I went through the side gate by the gas station. I buffed out my tag, COPE. I just did it and drove away." Cope2's defense attorney by the name of Berger was a Legal Aid and on June 27, 2012 Fernando Carlo took a Plea Agreement in exchange for a conditional discharge. Consequently, Cope2 never served any time in jail or prison for his crimes relating to graffiti.
On August 27, 2012, Cope2 on his Twitter account called artist David Choe a "Stink Chink Mofo (Mother F*cker)".
In September 2012, Cope2 on his Twitter account stated "I'll F*ck her up her *ss." when referring to a picture of a young handicapped girl under the age of 10 at the Renaissance Pediatric Unit in Virginia.
In 2013 a large number of Cope2's murals and galleries in New York, Miami, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen, Hawaii and Cologne were vandalized with the words "SNITCH! and RAT!" Many artists within the graffiti scene believe it is in reaction to the rumors of him being a police informant, and co-operating against other artists with the police. The rumors and stories first started in the early 1990s and have continued to grow in number into this decade.
In 2014, Cope2 painted "The Bowery Mural" in Manhattan, on the same wall that over 30 years ago, the openly homosexual artist Keith Haring put up the first mural on the Houston Street wall, a concrete slab just off of Bowery in New York. People were outraged on many social media networks, due to the fact that Cope2 has publicly spoken negatively of Jews, gays and homosexuals for the last 20 years. During the first few days of Cope2 painting the Bowery mural an anonymous person destroyed the mural with the word "SNITCH".
- Time http://www.time.com/time/archive/collections/0,21428,c_graffiti,00.shtml
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- "From Vandal to Artist". Business Week. 07-19-05.
- RILED POL TAGS TIME MAG AD
- Tavernise, Sabrina (2005-08-23 His art is also shown in movies as recent as Shrek The Third.). "Citing 1st Amendment, Judge Says City Must Allow Graffiti Party". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- "Dis War May Make Pol A Big 'Name'". Daily News (New York). 2005-07-03.[dead link]
- Parascandola, Rocco (2010-10-02). "Cops nab longtime Bronx graffiti artist Fernando (Cope) Carlo after he tags subway car". Daily News (New York).
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