Chris FREEDOM Pape
Chris FREEDOM Pape painted a 20-foot-high mural of the “Mona Lisa” in an abandoned freight train tunnel under Riverside Park in Manhattan in 1980, sparking a 14-year run of paintings in what would become known as the “Freedom Tunnel.” His “No Way Like the American Way” is a replication of one of the many murals he painted in the tunnel. Pape started painting trains in 1974 as a teenager in New York City under the name GEN2, which stopped in 1976 when he entered La Guardia High School of Music and Art, where he learned the foundations of printmaking, watercolors and oil painting. After leaving home in 1978, the artist returned to graffiti, using the name FREEDOM. FREEDOM turned his focus to painting and drawing portraits of homeless people in 1989; these images were later published in the book The Mole People. He has created commissions for numerous collectors, many of them based on his eclectic early works from the Freedom Tunnel. FREEDOM has re-emerged in recent years as an author/archivist with several book and film titles to his name.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.