Los Angeles based artist Augustine Kofie is one of the giants of the contemporary urban art scene, active in the LA graffiti scene since the mid 1990’s. Augustine Kofie has become known for his highly drafted artworks, inspired by architecture and deconstructed typography that also incorporates elements of vintage collage paper, iconography from the 1960’s and 1970’s and contemporary music. With both his street art murals and studio based work, Augustine Kofie has developed a unique style of working, abstract images that build into complex layers and structures which sit somewhere between the past and the future. The dynamics of Augustine Kofie’s futuristic abstract artworks has seen him become an important member of the Graffuturism movement, which combines the aesthetics of graffiti with futurist imagery and began life as the infamous Graffuturism blog, started by fellow artist Poesia, whom you can read about in the Reflexive Poetry article. The impact of the unique works of Augustine Kofie has seen him exhibiting regularly since the turn of the century, firmly establishing him as one of the forerunners of the current urban contemporary art scene. It is a real honour therefore, to present Augustine Kofie as our Widewalls Artist of the Week.
Augustine Kofie New Solo Exhibition
Augustine Kofie currently has a new solo exhibition on show at the David Bloch Gallery, based in Marrakech, Morroco. Entitled OFF/GRID, the solo exhibition will feature a new body of works created in his distinctive style, but with the added twist of also collaborating with the local craftspeople of Marrakech. This tantalising collaboration, a real meeting of past and present, should offer a fascinating tangent for the artworks of Augustine Kofie, who draws inspiration from so many sources already. If the results of the Yassine Yaze Mekhnache exhibition (The Conference of the Birds) at the same gallery, also created with local craftspeople, is anything to go by, we are in for a treat. Read the preview of the solo show, OFF/GRID, by Augustine Kofie.
Graffuturism 5 Year Anniversary Show
Currently on show at the 886 Geary Gallery in San Francisco is a group exhibition, Graffuturism 5 Year Anniversary Show, in which Augustine Kofie also makes an appearance. The gallery, which has Poesia as main curator, has brought together a number of international artist that have all been closely associated with the Graffuturism movement since its inception in 2010. The group exhibition features a host of big names alongside Augustine Kofie, Bom.K, Chazme, Duncan Jago (Mr Jago), Kan, Moneyless, Nawer, Pener, Pro176, SatOne, Saber and Vesod. The Graffuturism 5 Year Anniversary Show runs until 4th April, 2015 at the 886 Geary Gallery.
Context of Augustine Kofie
When looking at the context of Augustine Kofie, one can note the cultural references that are important to the artist. For example, Kofie regularly locates vintage and dated ephemera to use within his artworks and admits that he was inspired by the construction of Wildstyle Graffiti lettering, that he then reduced to the linear aspects to create his abstract works. Graffuturism on the other side, looked to the future by embracing the past, focusing on street artists who used graffiti as an inspiration, but were willing to push the boundaries to take the urban art scene into new directions.
The beautiful draft work of Augustine Kofie, who says that ink on paper illustrations is his first love, lends itself perfectly to crossing over into commercial work. His fine line work has found itself on many publications, along with T-shirts, skateboard wheels, prints and a number of music releases including Labwaste, The Pharcyde, Connie Prive & The keystones vs BDK and the Pragmatic Theory label. Music is close to much of what Augustine Kofie creates, which includes his own 4 x 4 Tracktor music project that can be heard on his Bandcamp page and his own soundtrack mixes for his exhibitions, which can be found on his Keep Drafting page.
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Images courtesy of David Bloch Gallery & White Walls Gallery unless otherwise noted.