Augustine Kofie

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 and highly mathematical form of abstraction. Merging his traditional graffiti education and his inclination toward “certain colour forms and certain application techniques” with his deep love of illustration and preliminary design and his fondness for “drafts, architectural renderings and pre-production concepts”, Kofie plays with form, line, balance and depth to twist and manipulate his murals, illustrations and 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. While she was studying fine arts at UCLA, Kofie was using the supplies that lay around his house to start experimenting on his own. He started to excel in drawing by the time he had reached middle school. While his art education never went further than high school, Kofie’s real training was garnered through his time spent painting graffiti, having come 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 supplied Kofie with his technical foundation and 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 which pushed 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”.

He’s developed his aesthetic into an almost pure abstraction, 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, his craft, Kofie has thus formed an intensely layered, earthy and dynamic style of contemporary muralism, an illustrative practice which digs deep and looks forward: a practice which, like the Roman God Janus, surveys the future and the past at the same time.