Yesterday evening, the grandfather of Bronx graffiti, Cope2, posted a photo on Twitter, which appears to be a collaboration between himself and Banksy in the South Bronx. The work features a stenciled pig with graffiti writing that reads "NYPD!" and Cope2's tag above. This jab at the New York police seems to be in response to the fact that the NYPD is out to get Banksy for vandalizing the city during his month-long artist's residency in the city, "Better Out Than In."
Cope2 tweeted this image at the New York Post (the publication that broke the story on the NYPD's Banksy manhunt) as well as Fox News. According to Gothamist, Cope2 also posted an image of the collab on his Instagram but has since deleted it.
While it's unclear if this is a true Banksy x Cope2 piece, Gothamist's Banksy expert Jake Dobkin claims that it's likely. He asserts that Banksy has been trying to patch up broken relationships with New York graffiti artists ever since he outraged the street art community by covering King Robbo's graffiti in 2009. Also, Dobkin says that Cope2 knows Shepard Fairey, "so this would've been easy for him to set up."
Fairey has expressed his admiration for Cope2, who started tagging in the late '70s and then rose to fame in the mid-'90s. The two street artists have collaborated on murals before, and this summer they created a T-shirt together from a photo taken by Martha Cooper. On a Vimeo video description from August, Fairey praises the Bronx legend and named him one of the most prolific graffiti writers in the city.
It makes sense then, that Banksy would reach out to the New York icon, who has been dodging the police himself for decades. We hope that this NYPD pig is a true collaboration, because it means Banksy is actually involving New York artists in his residency in the city.
UPDATE October 18, 2013 5:20 p.m: Looks like Cope2 was just doing a little trolling.