Born and based in Los Angeles and active in the Southern California graffiti scene since the early nineties, multimedia artist Augustine Kofie (b. 1973) works in painting, collage and mural interventions. Kofie’s fine art practice draws together the languages of graffiti’s deconstructive lettering, mechanical drafting, modern architecture, and plunderphonics, creating a unique take on constructivist abstraction, or as the artists refers to as ‘Vintage Futurism.’ Kofie has been featured in Juxtapoz, Graffiti Art Magazine, The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti, Le Petit Voyeur and VNA Magazine 26. His work is in both national and international private collections and has appeared on numerous book and album covers. Recent exhibitions include Adventures in Tonality, Gallery Openspace, Paris (2020); State of Mind, Hashimoto Contemporary, New York City (2021); ROTATIONSHIPS. Heron Arts, San Francisco (2022) & 1970s / GRAFFITI / TODAY, Phillips Gallery, NYC (2022)
Augustine Kofie is undeniably one of the most prominent representatives of Graffuturism.
Historically, the American artist is among those who most contributed to this revolution
in graffiti, using canvasses, wood, and recycled objects to create abstract compositions
and retro-futuristic visions. Self-taught, which makes his technique all the more
impressive, Augustine Kofie has opened a rich dialogue between architecture and
movement, and between the iconography of the 1960s and contemporary art. Based
on superpositions, his works are the result of a long process of reflection in which
geometrical shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, etc.) are constantly balanced with
linearity and perspectives constantly twisted.
Such masterful visual works are the hallmark of great know-how and an exceptional
artistic vision. And the proof of it is that for nearly thirty years, Augustine Kofie has
been defying trends and time. One thing is obvious when we look at his recent shows
at the Phillips Gallery in New York or Heron Arts in San Francisco: whether he creates
monochromes or dark-tone paintings, or reintegrates lettering in his pieces, Augustine
Kofie is obsessed with motion, even though his works are based on a few recurring
shapes and motives. His most recent masterpieces, such as Triangle-you and Upon
Further Reflection, are all characterized by the combination of opposite elements,
between realism and abstraction. In the end, it is less the space between them than their
continuity that imbues his work with magnetic power, characterized by the union of soft
curves and curvy lines.
Maxime Delcourt, Urban Contemporary Art Guide, 2022