In recent years, Mexico City has played host to some of the most progressive urban artists in the world. Many of them have come together in Celeya Brothers’ anniversary exhibition, “Cuatro Igual A Uno”: 3TTMan, Christiaan Conradie, Franco Fasoli aka JAZ, Fusca, Augustine Kofie, Lesuperdemon, Sten & Lex, Sanez, Smithe and Jorge Tellaeche. The group represents not only the freshman artists to show with the gallery, but also the city’s international draw, hailing from the United States, South Africa, to Argentina. Take a look at more photos from the exhibition after the jump.
Though their aesthetics are different, Augustine Kofie and Moneyless share a background in graffiti and an interest in geometry that drives the evolution of their work. One could say that their work has evolved along parallel tracks: Both honed their painting skills in the graffiti scenes of the early ’90s in their respective locales, Moneyless in Milan and Tuscany and Kofie in LA. At some point, letters were not enough, and both artists began to deconstruct the curves and angles of the alphabet until they yielded the styles of abstract, street-influenced painting they practice today.
Augustine Kofie began his career as a graffiti writer over two decades ago, but his desire to master the art of the spray can lead him to develop the abstract style and vintage-inspired color palette for which he is known. Kofie is currently working on a mural for the ongoing street art festival Pow Wow Hawaii in Honolulu. Hi-Fructose got a chance to go up on the lift with him to chat while he painted. Kofie showed us his initial sketch (something he rarely reveals), which he renders in a combination of traditional and digital media. Read more after the jump.
While most established artists who started out in graffiti move on to something more pictorial, Augustine Kofie’s evolution went in the other direction. The artist, inspired by the geometry of letterforms early on, abstracted the building blocks of graffiti until there was no semantic meaning left, leaving us with geometric forms that faintly echo the structure of the letterform. Kofie’s work takes from the avant-garde of the past century. While his color palette of mustard yellows and mossy greens evokes 1970s kitsch, his geometric forms, mapped out with mathematical precision, recall the high-velocity compositions of Futurists like Kazimir Malevich. Augustine Kofie will be in a three-person show, “Three the Hardway,” alongside Jerry “Joker” Inscoe and Christopher Derek Bruno, opening November 7 at Breeze Block Gallery in Portland. Read more after the jump.
Eye-catching and sharply executed,Augustine Kofie’s abstract paintings are built for speed. Curves give way to angles and lines thatradiate across the canvas, creating a sense of being rocketed throughspace. Currently on display at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco,Kofie’s solo show “Circulatory System” merges this Futuristaesthetic with retro colors. Drafted with an architect’s precision, his geometric compositions recallMalevich, filtered through a palette of ’70s-era mustard yellows and mint greens. Kofie’s paintings are not just confined to the canvas — perhaps a by-product of his roots in the Los Angeles graffiti scene in the ’90s.Triangular and circular canvases sprawl across the gallery space withlines painted directly on the walls, creating larger geometriccompositions that transcend the paintings themselves. — Nastia Voynovskaya
Augustine Kofie (aka Kofie One) recently sent us here at Hi-Fructose an exclusive behind the scenes look at his latest body of work, ‘Retrofitted and Other Forms of Vintage Futurism’. The self taught artist’s impeccable draftsmanship, genre-bending graffiti and seemingly organic geometry is a welcome return since we last saw him in February’s Never A Dull Moment group show. ‘Retrofitted….’ will open October 9th at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco, check out a nice preview of the show after the jump.