Horfee - image courtesy The Grifters

Horfee /   Antwan Horfée

France 1983

Urban Art, Street Art, Graffiti, Drawing


Antwan Horfée
November 20, 2014
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Horfée is a French street artist whose drawings, murals, object making, and paintings explore the creative methods of spontaneity and experimentation that have made his eccentric graffiti and studio work internationally recognized in Europe and abroad.

Horfée was born in Paris and has lived in the capital city of France for 27 years. As a child, he actually did not draw that much until he had an accident and had to stay in a chair for three whole months. During that time, Horfée started adorning his nickname, drawing stuff around it, just for passing time. At the time, he also watched a lot of documentaries about American graffiti artists – and before he knew it, he was “hooked” on art. Even though Horfée quit school very early, but entered a fine art school in Paris, where he was very bored by rich kids and their exotic activity in a studio.

“I wanted to create disaster everywhere I went.”

Horfée’s Graffiti Background

Horfee - Untitled, 2014
Horfee – Untitled, 2014

This Beaux Arts graduate and Parisian street artist was following a path to see where graffiti will take him, and for that Horfée has traveled the globe meeting up with the world’s best known street artists. He has used those travels to expand his vision and direction in the art he surrounds himself with.

As Horfée continued to evolve artistically, so has his desire to engage in more concept-driven work within the gallery setting. Horfée likes Mike Kelley’s work as well as what André Butzer or Federico Herrero do – because it is all just about expressing the feeling once the subject is seen and understood.

Drawing influence from historical avant-garde art movements like the Cobra movement, the Gutai group, and Tachisme, Horfée’s paintings evoke a sense of physicality and action that compliment and relate to his work outside the gallery. His semi-abstract paintings are imbued with vibrant color, improvisational brush/spray techniques, and often depict distorted representational references inspired by his fascination with underground comic and zine cultures. He is a big fan of very cheap zines (as he explains, they are meant to be affordable, collectable, and accessible) from all over the world. According to him, zines are important for their role to keep on communicating, without any authority censor.

Traditional Occupations exhibition

Horfee - Willy the Wheel at Traditional Occupations exhibition, his first show with Ruttkowski68 gallery, 2014
Horfee – Willy the Wheel at Traditional Occupations exhibition, his first show with Ruttkowski68 gallery, 2014

Horfée is a prime example of an artist that does not compromise his style, the authenticity of his work is one of his creative strengths. Horfée has established himself in the streets of Paris with a large body of work on walls. The essence of his work in the street translates in his ability to take that same freedom into the gallery. By balancing the essence of graffiti with his love for vintage animation and cartoon art Horfée creates a world of his own. Basically, he is inspired by everything from European abstract painting to homemade tattoos, vintage animations to underground comics.

The discipline he gained through outdoor actions must, in his eyes, continue to remain as a major source of inspiration. He shares his interpretation through a multi-dimensional discipline. This series of actions are combination of drawings, pictures of walls, and ‘marginal’ museum pieces. As he says, being completely devoted is the only way to progress in communication with different social layers, if society needs artists. Of course, being raw is important, as long as it mean something and it’s not only an effect of style. Horfée’s art signature is marked by strong, vibrant color and loose edges – showing proudly stylistic flaws instead of hiding it.

Horfée lives and works in Paris.

Featured image: Horfee, image copyright ©The Grifters
Other images copyright © the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Traditional Occupations Ruttkowski;68Solo
2014Cruel SummerJonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014Knock! Knock!Galeria Javier López, MadridGroup
2014CHAOS PAYSNew Image Art, Los Angeles, CaliforniaSolo
2014Horfee & G-Star RAW: For the OceansSanta Monica Boulevard, USADuo
2014HORFEE x RUSSELL MAURICE: DOOMSDAYBrunsWick, St. Fitzroy Vic, AustraliaDuo
2014Basement graffiti art exhibitionPalais de Tokyo – Lasco Project 3Group
2014Urban Art AuctionArtcurial Briest-Poulain-F. TajanGroup
2014Urban Contemporary Art AuctionDigard, Paris, FRGroup
2013Urban Art Biennale 2013Urban Art Biennale, VölklingenGroup
2013Horfee’s ImaginariumTopsafe, London, UKSolo
2013International Billboard Painting FestivalViborg, DenmarkGroup
2012Hard Comix Galerie Celal, ParisSolo
2012Street SmartKulturhuset Stockholm, StockholmGroup
2012Group ShowNational City Gallery of Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2011Passage - Beats & Drips Part. 2Galerie Celal, ParisSolo
2011Summer Graffiti Show 2Galerie Celal, ParisGroup