Kool Koor - Photo of the artist - Image courtesy of Galerie Martine Ehmer

Kool Koor /   Charles Hargrove

United States 1963

Street Art, Graffiti, Painting


Kool Koor
Charles Hargrove
United States
July 31, 2017
Andreja Velimirović is a passionate content writer with a knack for art and old movies. Majoring in art history, he is an expert on avant-garde modern movements and medieval church fresco decorations. Feel free to contact him via his Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreja-velimirovi%C4%87-74068a68/

Going by a creative pseudonym of Kool Koor, Charles Hargrove is a New York-born Brussels-based artist who is considered by many to be one of the most influential and pivotal urban artists of the original NYC urban scene. Known for his space-age-inspired works, which range from surreal scenes to intricate works of abstraction, Kool Koor’s style is unique and instantly recognizable.

Kool Koor - Red Flux, 2011 / Blue Flux, 2011
Kool Koor – Red Flux, 2011 / Blue Flux, 2011

How Charles Hargrove Became Kool Koor

Born as Charles Hargrove in 1963, this artist grew up surrounded by such masters as A-One and Toxic who lived in the same neighborhood in the South Bronx. Hargrove attended the Art and Design School in Midtown, a fairly distant location that required him to travel every day on his commute to and from school, a route that gained him an access to the world of subway trains. In that period, the artist began his street career, writing tags on the subway trains and throughout the urban landscape. And just like that, Kool Koor was born. Charles and his fellow artists were some of the first to completely diverge from “classic” graffiti art, pushing the boundaries of their work to transform urban scrawl into something completely innovative in the artistic scene. Through collaborative and individual works on the trains, Kool Koor brought the South Bronx style to downtown Manhattan at venues such as Fashion Moda, the first gallery that will focus on the Bronx street artists.

Kool Koor is one of the most influential and pivotal artists of the graffiti world

Kool Koor - Jungle Jungle
Kool Koor – Jungle Jungle

A Perfect Artistic Coexistence

As soon as he started exhibiting his work, Kool Koor became recognized for his unique style and space-age-inspired works. Craftily balancing between somewhat surrealistic scenes and pieces that possess pure abstraction, Charles Hargrove developed a style that featured contrasting areas of extension and compression within the canvas. From the year of 1979, Kool Koor expanded his artistic range as he began to create paintings, drawings, site specific pieces and illustrations that were much more gallery-oriented than his previous pieces. He explains his work with the following statement: I see my twisting structures, with their never ending labyrinths and formations a direct result of perfect coexistence. Charles Hargrove’s artwork appears to be a complicated and extensively detailed system of hieroglyphs consisting of splines, circles, angles, lines, wheels, arches.

Charles Hargrove’s complex and elaborate systems of hieroglyphs were and still are highly popular both on the streets and within gallery spaces

Kool Koor - Micro Flashback #1, 2017 / Micro Flashback #2_2017
Kool Koor – Micro Flashback #1, 2017 / Micro Flashback #2_2017

A True Legend of Street Art

Together with his friend Rammellzee and other artists like A-One, Quik, Dondi White, Crash and Futura, Kool Koor stood at the very basis of the New York graffiti street art movement at the time of the scene’s birth. Due to that fact, it is not uncommon to hear that Charles Hargrove is now considered as one of the original graffiti pioneers whose works influenced generation upon generation of his younger street colleague. A true legend of the medium, Koor Koor is rightfully located in the street art Hall of Fame and we do not see him leaving it anytime soon.

This artist is represented by Galerie Martine Ehmer.

Kool Koor lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.

Featured image: Kool Koor – Photo of the artist – Image courtesy of Galerie Martine Ehmer
All images courtesy of Galerie Martine Ehmer.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2016Street Art Banksy & Co. – L’arte Allo Stato UrbanoMuseo della Storia di BolognaGroup
2014Black GoldNK Gallery, Antwerp, BelgiumSolo
2014TreasureMarignan, Paris, FranceSolo
2014DecadeGalerie Martine Ehmer, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2014CoveredNK Gallery, Antwerp, BelgiumGroup
2014Dali fait le MurDali Museum, Paris, FranceGroup
2014Wall Street Lor de la rueBastille Design Centre, Paris, FranceGroup
2013Transform.. EvolveCovart Gallery, LuxembourgSolo
2013PapersBegramoff Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2013U.R. - Urban RenewalGalerie Martine EHMER, Brussels BelgiumGroup
2013Organic StructuresAnnasatoko Gallery, Istanbul, TurkeyGroup
2013Museum Night FeverMuseum of Natural Science, Brussels BelgiumGroup
2013TOUT & MINIBegramoff Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2013Day One FestivalAntwerp, BelgiumGroup
2013Marquers de VieBrussels, BelgiumGroup
2013LOrEglise de la Trinity, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2013Crimes of MindsBrest, FranceGroup
2013Melanges – RetrospectiveBlank, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2013Tekens aan de WandTongerlohuys Museum, Roosendaal, The NetherlandsGroup
2012Frozen DreamsVincent V Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2012Melanges with Kool Koorblank, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2012JimCovart Gallery, Marciac, FranceGroup
2011A New WorldLBK Bank, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2011The ArbitratorCovart Gallery, LuxembourgSolo
2011I Miss YouKrabbedans, Eindhoven, The NetherlandsGroup
2011Art in the StreetsThe Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.Group
2011ExplositionMusee du Ixelles, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2011Tag in MonacoGrimaldi Forum, Monaco, FranceGroup
2011Art Access and Decay 1975 - 1985Subliminal Projects, LA California, U.S.AGroup
2010GraffitiScryption Museum, Tilburg, The NetherlandsGroup
2010The Alchemy of DelusionAeroplastics Contemporary, Brussles, BelgiumGroup
2009Jewels of the TradeGalerie Etienne De Causan, Paris, FranceSolo
2009Chuck Koor Hargrove, Schilderijen en ObjectenGalerie DZD Art, Roermond, HollandSolo
2009Le TagGrand Palais, Paris , FranceGroup
2009Ne Dans La RueFondation Cartier, Paris , FarnceGroup
2009dRAWSchunck Glaspalaies, Heerlen, The NetherlandsGroup
2009East African Art BiennalDar Es Salaam,Tanzania, AfricaGroup
2008Koor – Back to the RootsGallery 151, New York City, U.S.A.Solo
2008Chuck Koor Hargrove, Schilderijen en ObjectenGalerie DZD Art, Roermond, HollandSolo
2008Fruits de une PassionMusee des Beaux Arts, Mons, BelgiumGroup
2007East African Art BiennalDar Es Salaam,Tanzania, AfricaGroup
2006Seven SourcesTempus Arte, Landen, BelgiumSolo
2006New GiantsBrandon Pijnenburg, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2006Kunst en BedrijfDZD ART, Roermond, The NetherlandsGroup
2005KoorGalerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven, The NetherlandsSolo
2005MicrokoorsmFine Art Studio, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2005Eye CandyMuseum Tongerlohuys, Roosendaal, The NetherlandsSolo
2004Koor, Recent WorksFine Art Studio, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2004Reality RevisitedSabine Watchers Gallery, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
2004New York Graffiti a RetrospectiveMaurice Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2003KoorGalerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven, The NetherlandsSolo
2003ElevationsPrivé Domein, Deurne, The NetherlandsSolo
2003Writings on the WallSothebys, Amsterdam, HollandGroup
2002DraftworksPrivé Domein, Deurne, The NetherlandsSolo
2002The Nature of ThingsThe Gallery of Visual Artists House, Warsaw, PolandGroup
19993D SkryptroniksAncienne Belgique, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1999Group ShowGallery Declercq, Knokke, BelgiumGroup
1998Monoliths vs. PyrolithsTour et Taxis, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1998New York GraffitiDas Museum der Stadt Ratingen, Ratingen, GermanyGroup
1998Fruits de une PassionMusee des Beaux Arts, Mons, BelgiumGroup
1996Koor21st Inernational Kunst en Antiekbeurs, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
1996Het Vanijn van de MuzeStadelijk Museum Roermond, Roermond, HollandGroup
1995KOORGallerie Dis, Maastricht, HollandSolo
1993Against the WallSpace Time Light Gallery, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1992New York GraffitiThe Groninger Museum, Groningen, HollandGroup
1991KOORGallerie der Stadt Esslingen am Neckar, Esslingen, GermanySolo
1991KOORGallery M, Bayreuth, GermanySolo
1991KOORMaurice Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1991Group ShowMusee National des Monuments Francaise, Paris, FranceGroup
1991American Grffiti a SurveyLiverpool Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
1991Group ShowThe Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C. U.S.A.Group
1991Junge Schweinfurter KunstlerSchweinfurt, GermanyGroup
1990KOORArt Boom, Deurne, HollandSolo
1989Le Premiere Beinnale Jeune PeintureCannes, FranceGroup
1989Group ShowThe Museum of American Graffiti, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1989New York GraffitiStadtische Gallerie, Goppingen, GremanyGroup
1989An Der WandWeisbaden, GermanyGroup
1989Group ShowThe Museum of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, GermanyGroup
1989Group ShowGemeente Museum, Helmond, HollandGroup
1989Group ShowThe Groninger Museum, Groningen, HollandGroup
1988KOORGallery 69, New York City, U.S.A.Solo
1988KOORMaurice Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1988KOORForum, Hamburg, GermanySolo
1988Group ShowGallery Thomas, Munchen, GermanyGroup
1988Group ShowFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1987MeleeFranklin Furnace, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1987Maurice Keitelman Gallery PresentsLineart Gent, BelgiumGroup
1987New York GraffitiWilhelm-Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, GermanyGroup
1987Beyond WordsFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1986Group Show112 Green Street Gallery, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1986Fine and Functional ArtArt et Industrie, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1986Graffiti artCollector Gallery International 52, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1985The Arbitrator KOORCable Gallery, NewYrok City, U.S.A.Solo
1985The Arbitrator KOORMaurice Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
1985Group ShowMirano International, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
1985Group ShowFrank Bernaducci Gallery, New York City, U.S.AGroup
1985Festivale CulturaleIvrea, ItalyGroup
1985A One Koor ToxicFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1985Arts Delores Ormandy Neuman PresentsInernational Art Fair Chicago, Chicago Il, U.S.AGroup
1984The Arbitrator KOORWest Central Graphics, New York City, U.S.A.Solo
1984CalligraffitiLeila Taghina MilaniGroup
1984Group ShowGallery Communale dArt Moderna, Bologna, ItalyGroup
1984Group ShowGallery Thomas, Munchen, GermanyGroup
1984Group ShowBeinnale Venice, ItalyGroup
1984Group ShowFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1984Graffiti Thanks AlotFun Gallery, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1984Post GraffitiSidney Janis Gallery, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1984New York GraffitiMaurice Keitelman Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
1984Jean Michel Basquiat – Rammellzee – A One – Koor – ToxicPaige Powell, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1983The Arbitrator KOORLucky Strike, New York City, U.S.A.Solo
1982The Arbitrator KOORHostos Community CollegeSolo
1982An Evening With PanzerismSquat Theater, New York City, U.S.A. Group
1982An Evening With PanzerismThe Hudson Valley Museum, Hudson Valley New York, U.S.A. Group
1982Camouflaged PanzerismFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1981The South Bronx ShowFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group
1980Graffiti Art SuccessFashion Moda, New York City, U.S.A.Group