The tag, also referred to as handstyle, urban calligraphy or ‘writing’, is a personal statement or signature: an expression of identity. The work of many artists starts and ends with the tag. For some the tag represents the basis from which they developed their style into less abstract art forms. For many of these artists tagging is a relevant part of their work, others’ entire message is contained within their tag. Reaching across culture, class and age, the tag is a global art form: a pure form of self expression and style. Originating in Philadelphia in the 1960s and New York in the early 1970s, other isolated styles also developed independently including the pixação style in São Paulo. The tag has, for the most part, been either ignored or openly reviled yet for decades it has laid the foundation for a number of related art forms which have developed from the streets to galleries worldwide.
Join us at Skalitzers as we present the first in a diverse series of shows exploring the role of tagging within the world of contemporary art.
One of New York’s most prolific writers, Cope2 has achieved international recognition over the past decade for his distinctive style. Born in the South Bronx he began writing in 1978. He developed his style in the subways and streets of the Bronx throughout the 1980s and 1990s, becoming a legend on the street both in New York and internationally. Cope2 crosses between art world, mainstream and street culture alike. Since first putting pen to canvas in 2000 as part of the historic Guernsey’s ‘Graffiti at Auction’ event his art has gone on to be exhibited in galleries and museums both in the US and Europe. In recent years Cope2 has been commissioned by Time Magazine and designed shoes for Converse and Adidas. His work has even crossed into the virtual realm with appearances in video games ‘Getting up’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’.
This is his first solo show in Europe.
COPE2 (NEW YORK)
Born 1968, Bronx, New York
Lives & works in the Bronx, New York
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & AUCTIONS
‘TKid x Cope2’, M2 Gallery, New York
‘Graffiti – Street Art’, Millon & Associés Auction, Paris
‘Street Art’, Artcurial Auction, Paris
‘TAG au Grand Palais’, Gallizia Collection, Paris
‘All that Glitters is Gold’, McCaig Welles Gallery, New York (Guest Curator)
‘The Sharpie Show’, Crewest Gallery’, Los Angeles
‘Top of the Line’, The Showroom Gallery, New York (Guest Curator)
‘The Walls Belong to Us’, New York
‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, Fifty24SF Gallery, San Francisco
‘Cope2’, Defiance Gallery, Chicago (Solo exhibition)
‘Tag the system’, The Showroom NYC, New York
Guernsey’s, ‘Graffiti at Auction’, New York