- Works on Paper
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Inspired by the basic building blocks of the geometric world, Augustine Kofie has formed a retro-futuristic aesthetic which transplants these shapes and angles into a soulful, organic, yet highly mathematical form of abstraction. Merging his traditional graffiti education, his inclination toward “certain colour forms and certain application techniques”, with his deep love of illustration and preliminary design, his fondness for “drafts, architectural renderings and pre-production concepts”, Kofie plays with form and line, with balance and depth, twisting and manipulating his murals, his illustrations, his compositions, into ever new and dramatic arrangements.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kofie’s instinct to draw was cultivated through the creativity of his mother. Whilst she was studying fine arts at UCLA, Kofie was using the supplies that lay around his house to start experimenting on his own, he starting to excel in drawing by the time he had reached middle school. Whilst his art education never went further than high school, Kofie’s real training was garnered through his time spent painting graffiti, he coming to prominence in the Los Angeles graffiti scene by the mid 1990s. Giving him an extensive understanding of both “colour and layering, points of perspective and arrangement”, graffiti not only gave Kofie his technical foundation however, it also provided the underpinning for his love of construction and form: Through drafting and sketching wildstyle pieces, “stretching the letters out and rebuilding them, giving them varied points of perspective and basically building shapes out”, Kofie began to understand the architectural basis of writing, an understanding pushing him to focus on the linear rather than alphabetic aspects of his work. Having also felt that he had made an honest contribution to the LA graffiti scene, Kofie’s evolutionary drive meant he soon began to “distort and manipulate” his work, attempting to “re-contribute and redistribute something new”.
Developing his aesthetic into an almost pure abstraction then, dominated by the simple squares, triangles and circles that make up our structural universe, Kofie’s relentless desire to experiment and explore his visual surroundings meant he was forced to engage in a constant test of his own mindset and preconceived ideas, each work an attempt to find a geometrical solution to a graphical problem. Putting his entire soul into his work, into his craft, Kofie has thus formed an intensely layered, earthy, dynamic style of contemporary muralism, an illustrative practice which digs deep and looks forward, a practice, like the Roman God Janus, which surveys the future and the past at very the same time.
-Rafael Schacter , honorary research fellow at the Department of Anthropology at University College, London, 2013.
“Augustine Kofie is a guardian of the twisted path between the analog empire and the sugarcoded flytrap. He continues to move forward by delving deeper into the fading resonance of the past. This is restitution, resurrection and reflection. He is a master craftsman so in tune with his process and his own self-determination that he simply surrenders to flow and builds from within outwardly. The artifacts he leaves behind are breadcrumbs to the soul. His tools are lines and shapes, the very things that so often divide, categorize and constrain us, yet when you look at the work of Augustine Kofie you realize these tools have become building blocks of perception that now radiate with a state of being. These lines and shapes have been reclaimed as agents of freedom, individuality and humanity. Maybe this is what “Working an Angle” is… taking something made for us and transforming it into something from us.”
-Todd Mazer regarding Working An Angle
Known Gallery, Los Angeles. Spring 2012
“A reoccurring theme in Kofie’s artwork is this interest in looking back in time for inspiration. This motif manifests itself in several ways for this body of work. First, you can see the inspiration several art historical styles have had on him, particularly as the title of the show suggests, Futurism and more specifically Futurist Architecture. Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It was characterized by an enthusiastic obsession with technology, particularly with its potential to be powerful, fast and dangerous. Though Kofie’s artwork does not address the same technology driven themes as the Futurists, he does work in a similar visual vocabulary which uses dynamic lines and shapes.”
- Maggie Pike for Warholian.com 2011
“Augustine Kofie, master of shapes and forms, plays with forgotten colors, flirts with the architecture of an idea, follows his pure instinct of balance. He certainly is a big name in our contemporary art landscape. His outstanding research in the construction of lines and geometrical power fields, lets us walk on a floorless space, teaches us to go back to our self primary construct of dreamt castles and unknown city shapes. Kofie argues with corners and circles, with sunwashed colors and the gap beetween now and yesterday. A post futuristic vision of a non existing urbanism where harmony should take over concrete squareness ….-
The work of Kofie is the approach to a parallel universe, far from materialistic shortsightedness and naive spiritualism. In Kofie ´s vision all forms are subsidiary through space and time, and are cohabiting with their own character and will. This should be the goal of our society.”
- Jaybo Monk/ Berlin based Artist
I Wish U Sun/ October 2010
All works © of A.Kofie | 1993-2017 An icompendium Site