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Cope2 in front of Time magazine billboard, Manhattan, New York

Fernando Carlo (also known as Cope2) is an artist from the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, New York.

Early life[edit]

Cope2 has been a graffiti artist since 1985. His cousin "Chico 80" inspired Cope2 to pursue writing. In 1982, he made his own crew called Kids Destroy, eventually changing to Kings Destroy after he dubbed himself "King of the 4 Line".[1]

Cope2's "throw-up" was given to him by Cap to use until he had enough skills to create his own.[2]


Some of Cope2's initial commercial artwork has been sold at Christie's for $1000 USD per painting.[3] Early work includes cover art for a Boogie Down Productions album titled Sex and Violence.[3]

In 2002, Cope2 provided artwork for Adam Bhala Lough's Bomb the System, including a piece on the Brooklyn Bridge. He can be seen on the DVD's behind the scenes 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.[4]

In 2005, Cope2 collaborated with and designed a pair of sneakers for Converse under the "Chuck Taylor All-Stars" line.[4]

Also in 2005, Time magazine commissioned Cope2, for $20,000 USD, to paint a billboard ad in the SoHo district of Manhattan, 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".[5] 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. Cope2's "throw-up" has also appeared on walls in the videogame GTA IV and in the movie Shrek The Third.[citation needed]

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.[4][6]

Legal Issues[edit]

Cope2 has been arrested numerous times for drugs, vandalism and violence.[7]

Cope2 was arrested and charged with two counts of felony mischief and one count of graffiti in September 2010 on suspicion of vandalizing subway cars in a tunnel in uptown Manhattan in 2009. The arrest took over a year as he was abroad. On June 27, 2012 he took a plea agreement in exchange for a conditional discharge.[8]

In 2015, Cope2 was arrested again for allegedly pulling a gun on fellow artist, Hector Nazario, whose graffiti name is HOW, at the Bowery Graffiti Wall in New York City.[9]


Cope2 has a well-documented history of making problematic, homophobic, racist, threatening, and misogynistic rants online. Despite this, in 2014, Cope2 unveiled a pride-based mural at the Bowery Graffiti Wall in New York City. However, this was met with criticism from victims of his abuse, including RJ Rushmore, editor of Vandalog, who shared several of Cope2's past homophobic and violent tweets and Instagram posts.[10]


  1. ^ "Cope2 True Legend". Archived from the original on 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  2. ^ Austin, Joe (19 June 2019). Taking the Train: How Graffiti Art Became an Urban Crisis in New York City. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231111423 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b "From Vandal to Artist". Business Week. July 19, 2005. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "Cope2 True Legend". Archived from the original on 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  5. ^ RILED POL TAGS TIME MAG AD Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "- Cope2". www.britishhiphop.co.uk. 30 March 2008.
  7. ^ Lansroth, Bob (2015-09-15). "Cope2 Has Been Arrested". Wide Walls. London.
  8. ^ Parascandola, Rocco (2010-10-02). "Cops nab longtime Bronx graffiti artist Fernando (Cope) Carlo after he tags subway car". Daily News. New York.
  9. ^ Staff Writer (2015-09-15). "Bowery Beef: Cope2 Allegedly Pulls a Gun at the Graffiti Wall While Futura Painted". Bowery Boogie. New York. Archived from the original on 2022-01-29.
  10. ^ Perler, Elie (2014-05-19). "Olek Adds Her Commentary to the Cope2 Scandal at the Bowery Graffiti Wall". Bowery Boogie. New York. Archived from the original on 2022-05-21.

External links[edit]