Chris Pape, AKA Freedom, started tagging subway tunnels and rail cars in 1974 as “Gen II” before adopting the tag “Freedom,” and finished his career on the trains in 1983. Freedom is best known for his paintings in what became known as the “Freedom Tunnel,” an Amtrak tunnel running underneath Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Prominent paintings included black and silver recreations of classical art; his “self-portrait” featuring a jacket-clad torso with a spray-can head; and “There’s No Way Like the American Way” (AKA “The Coca-Cola Mural”), a parody of Coke advertising and a tribute to the evicted homeless tunnel people. Pape now paints on canvases and has published words on graffiti legends, and has visited Rochester multiple times to paint nostalgic images in Rochester’s abandoned subway.
Photographs by Mark Deff and Matt DeTurk, please contact WALL\THERAPY for more information.