Born in 1967 and raised in the Lower East Side of New York City, LA2 (Angel Ortiz) is a Puerto Rican artist who came of age in the 1980s when tags of graffiti artists adorned the trains, busses and walls of the City. Like many kids of that era, he joined the movement and adopted a pseudonym: LA2. By the age of 14, his name permeated the walls of lower Manhattan garnering street fame that led to a chance encounter with another downtown artist, Keith Haring who was 9 years his senior. The two artists began spending their days together painting in Haring’s studio. LA2 and his TNS crew gave Haring the street cred he needed to navigate the streets with ease to create public art, even on subways, a surface typically reserved for the most daring graffiti writers. Together, LA2 and Haring created hundreds of paintings and traveled the world exhibiting their art. While Haring drew cartoon characters like dogs, babies and other figures, LA2 would add in his style – tags, squiggles and bold lines that gave their collaborations extra energy, movement, and a street aesthetic. Tragically, Haring passed away in 1991, devastating LA2 and forcing him to find his own artistic path. For the past three decades LA2 has applied spray paint and ink to canvas, clothing, and various found objects in his unwavering journey to push his personal graffiti pop style. Fluorescent colors rooted in his Puerto Rican heritage, bold lines and tags learned in the streets, and cartoons tributes to his friend Haring, make each painting a sweet piece of candy for your eyes.
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