‘Under The Influence’
Sowat & Kofie
Photos: Nibor Reiluos
My visit to Paris for my California Soul Exhibition included a few special side projects with some select Parisian artists, among whom Sowat of Da Mental Vapors, a long time supporter of one of my prime LA crews UTI (Under The Influence). For the occasion I was given the guided tour and allowed to paint in the now infamous Mausolée, a supermarket left abandoned in a Parisian suburb. Here is a link of photographs taken by Nibor Reiluos documenting the entire intervention of us in an atypical environment.
I was invited by CHAS of Love Letters Crew to paint on one of the best walls at this years international Graffiti festival STEP IN THE ARENA in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands this past June, 2012
This year more than 250 local and international graffiti gladiators showed their skills in the weekend of 23 and 24 June in Eindhoven. Some names of the participating artists were:
Kofie (USA), Kems (USA), Belin (ES), MadC (D), Mr. Wany (I), Puppet (S), Soten (DK), Smug (UK), SobeKcis (SRB), ZoerCSX (F), Ogre (F), Mr.Dheo (P), Tiws (DK), New2 (AUS), Entes &Pesimo (Peru), Plaque (D), Semor (D), Casroc (B), Bue (B) Fuckone (B), JNC crew (B), Hertkore (B), Roofie (A), Musk (Lux), PQ (FR), Tempo (UK)
The Weird gang (D/A) - Nychos, Cone, Dxtr, Hr. Von Bias, Low Bros, Peachbeach.
LoveLetters (NL/D/F) - Ozer, Dater, Biser, Nash, Tumki, Puaks, Chas.
Nasty Sons, Dphaezer, Super A, Inca, Karski, Neas, Clone, Zenk, One, Druid, Moron, Nyse, Be Easy Crew, Coma, Kale, Awar, Seiro
Clowns From Hell (NL) - Mr.Mister, Ces53, Dr.Chess, Selone, Zedz.
KBTR, Lastplak, Nol, Lempke, Eau, Earworm, Narcoze, Popcorn, HMX, PZE, Edo Rath, 10:GU, Amik, 103, Schurk, the Imker, Reus,
Old Skool Eindhoven:
Skip -FAD, Yak-UFO, Yes-TMC, Dart-RSWC, Amore-TSC, CAZ-TIV, Tape-TSC,
Their facebook for pictures of the Festival.
The installation titled “In Situ” will took place in the Wynwood Art District at the Kohn Compound during Art Basel|Miami 2011
With mural installation by:
Eric Haze, Mare 139, West One, Poesia, Aaron De la Cruz,
Kema, Jurne, Sueme, Remi Rough, Greg Lamarche, Rae Martini,
LX One, Matt W. Moore, and Augustine Kofie.
“The title “In Situ” is a reference to the Mural installations that in the definition of the term will be made and created for the site specific to this event. Permanent Murals that will be placed in a unique and contrary to traditional compositions. As graffiti enters its place among the art world as legitimate art form, we have put together this lineup with the intention of showcasing some of our cultures important figures. With most, if not all the artists having an extensive background in traditional graffiti we have tried to bring many aspects of our current culture. From Legends Like Mare 139 & Eric Haze to emerging stars like Sueme and Jurne. We have picked a wide spectrum of talent. International additions like Remi Rough and She One will also contribute, reminding us of how far our culture has reached. We offer a different vision, modernist at times to street art and traditional graffiti. The great part of the Art Basel event that spreads into the streets of the Wynwood arts district, is that all angles are represented. We now add our version this year with In Situ. We hope you stop by and say hello. The graffiti Avante Garde as some have called it is here and we hope you enjoy what we will be bringing to the table this year.”
Special thanks to MTN Colors for being the paint sponsor for this event.”
Details of ‘KOF’ by Kofie
Late Summer 2011
Laytex, spray paint, bitumen and a bit of acrylic on cement.
With a month notice and a wall in mind, Poseia and I set off to Oakland to work a wall together, one on one for the first time. Nothing revolutionary, nothing fancy, just 2 grown-ass men tackle a wall and doing what we do.
Scot La Rockwell also came through documenting the ladder of the day catching Poesia and I finishing off our pieces. Serious faces in these ‘action’ captures of linebackers over-tinking and analyzing details and playing with color.
Triangulations of a KO
East Hollywood, California.
Painted late July 2011
Latex enamel, spray-paint [new and expired] & bitumen
The purples and mauves used on this one are not my general color palette, this is a result of me clearing out a stockpile of colors of I don’t usually use that were taking up space in the studio.
This piece also marks my first burner in Los Angeles as a new edition on the TRANSCEND roster.
Enamel spray paint & emulsion on ceramic tiles 
Detail of Mark Lykens Mural
Enamel spray paint & emulsion on ceramic tiles 
Since all the artists were painting separately in the city it was difficult to make it out to each wall to see the progress since we were all caught up. On my next to last day in Glasgow I finally made it out to Lyken and Jago’s respective walls in the city. There was a bit of space on the far left so I gave it a go with a tecky negative style KO with the scraps on hand.
Here is a link to the mural locations
Triangulations of a factory in dispair
Rustoleum [American] spray-paint on distressed
brick in Steam furnace of an abandoned factory.
Winter/ December 2010
On an April 2010 trip to Melbourne I had the opportunity to paint a wall in the Northcote District of Victoria. It was a long, wide wall that could manage 5 burners and one character this time around. Special thanks to Dabs & Myla & the SDM Crew for the Invitation and good times.
Full Size Piece HERE
Full Panoramic of the entire wall Here
A continuing series of freehand circles in spray paint and/or various materials on found surfaces. Circles are applied to both private and public spaces, both abandoned and in use.
The idea began in 2003 as a way to execute minimalis works on the street level that were both unique and consistent. They cover many obvious interpretations including draftsmanship, meditation and an interest in conceptual graffiti.
It’s no about perfection nor the circle itself, but the medium used in application and most importantly its placement on the surface. They are all intended to enhance and contribute to their location rather then to interfere with the environment. They are a curiosity and each unique in their own way.
A few other artists had applied the concept in their own right, and yes, there is a ‘freehand circle competition’, but this concept began here.
Spray paint & Acrylic on Brick
Echo Park, Calif.
My good friend Heather McGrath was in town from Boston for a few short days. While I was working on a lil project in a secret Echo Park location, Heather captured this shot of a freestyle in the rear of the space. A quick legal with 1 can of Sabotaz paint and a lil dirty grey water leftover from the job. Her eye for light and framing is very much on point. Here is more of her beautifully captured moments.
A foggy, January 2nd. 11pm.
Solo mission/ Frustration release/ Still hung over.
2 Tacos de Pastor from the taco truck as a reward for the evenings debauchery.
Atlantis is at the bottom of Echo Park Lake.
Foggy night. 1am. Deconstruction of an old Financial Center. Unearthed virgin cement walls. No security guards. 1 hour. House paint, acrylic and ink blend. 2 scrap cans. Parking lot illumination. Very quiet evening. Accompanied and guided by a beautiful soul.
Kof Spellout & UTI piece
Imported spray paint and acrylic on plaster
Spent a few days in Miami, Florida during the 2008 Art Basel thanks to the Scion Installation exhibition in town. The good folks at Primary Flight blessed me with a space on the ‘Wall Of Fame‘. With a reference of a sketch I did on the plane there, I knocked my piece out in a about 5 hours. I didn’t want to f-up another pair of good shoes, so I did this one barefoot for at least half the time.
This was about the time I was going public with my Triangulation series. There is no real direct inspiration of the pyramid in the work, but you cant avoid it when you crisscross 45 degree angles. For this piece tho, I was definitely thinking of Atlantis & Bimini. Shit, I was at the tip of Florida & I was raised on In Search Of, the Bermuda Triangle was in my brain.
2008. Rustoleum with Stocktip on Abandoned Building. The now 80% demolished building used to be a Plastics Mfg. sight specializing in store displays. The wall I painted is one of 3 freestanding brick walls that are still standing until a new security fence for the property is erected. The homeless gentlemen hired by the land owner to watch over the property & I talked for a bit about the space & what it’s future holds. I told him I would come back later that evening and smash the wall, he didn’t mind the company.
No. 36/ Highland y Melrose Softblockade 
Acrylic, house paint & imported spray paint onprimed wood.
The Lee Estate. Los Angeles, CA
Untitled Mural/ East LA | Vyal, Retna, Werc & Kofie
House paint & Spray Paint on plaster and metal
East Los Angeles, off of Whittier Blvd.
Vyal & Werc of COI invited me to paint some random characters and a piece in mid January of 2008. I worked on the Rooster & two other characters referenced from my notebook. Retna | AWR came in toward the end of the week & tied it all in with his beautiful letter work.
Courtesy of Anarchosyn
No. 34/ Boyle Heights stashaway 
Housepaint and spraypaint on cinderblock.
Painted in the summer of 2007, this piece is located behind a brownstone apartment complex in Boyle Heights, basically my backyard at the time. The wall was virgin cinderblock with chicken scratch chalk markings and a few mosquito bites from the local youth. As is usually the case, I asked no ones permission to paint this Softblock mural, it just had to be done. A selection of earth red/orange and burnt browns were chosen to play off of the natural brick framing the long narrow yard. The local families enjoyed watching it come about and appreciated the gesture.
2007. House paint & Ink. This is the second abandoned building that photographer Heather McGrath & I explored together. Located in North East LA, the formr Van De Kamp bakery has been abandoned by the city for a number of years. Up until recently construction has been taking place. The space will eventually become a School.
No. 33/ Berkeley Bowl in Oakland, CA 
House paint & Acrylic.
I have been scoping this wall since i started visiting Oakland towards the end of 07. It’s on the boarder of Berkeley & Oakland and it was constantly tagged on, so there were Graffiti removal blocks in that burnt red tone. I matched the red tone and thinned out the color with grey’s & creams. I actually didn’t know who to speak with the get the wall ‘legitimately’ so i just took it upon myself to rock it. I was about an 1.5 hours into it when the management of the local health food store came across the street to ask me how i could just go and paint it without asking. they liked it, but perplexed by my blatant lack of authority. I proceeded to let them know i was doing a public service by creating a painting that will prevent the continued act of malicious vandalism to their property. They firmly felt that it would still get painted over. It’s been about about 8 months and it hasn’t been touched.
Oakland, Ca 
Spray paint & House paint. Abandoned building.
This spot was around the corner from a local watering hole. Perfect of that post last call relief. I was surprised a lot of the sickest walls were still virgin. The space used to be a Silkscreen & Sign Factory.
Summer 2005. During my 2Man show @ Fifty24SF Gallery with Greg
No. 29/ Fairfax district 
House paint on wood panel, weekday afternoon.
Some of the best construction wood walls I have ever tapped. This was a 2 day hit. First day was the light green, second was the outline. It rode for a month or so.
No. 28/ Beverly Blvd. 
Housepaint on wood panel, weekday afternoon.
I literally drove over to this spot and rocked it after painting No. 27 on La Brea. I could hear the construction workers still inside.
No. 27/ La Brea, North Miracle Mile 
House paint on wood panel, weekday afternoon.
It was like the construction gods were raining down on north Miracle Mile that month. This one was simple and light. Right about the time I I finished up this one Steve Grody caught me and snapped a photo that ended up as a 2 page spread in his book Graffit LA.
No. 26/ Silver Lake Via Hyperion 
House Paint, weekday afternoon.
This was completed immediately after #25. It’s the back of the Nursery and looked beautiful, especially this day. The area was so virgin and untouched. I normally wouldn’t paint over old typography signage, but I wanted to leave something fitting. It lasted about 4 months and is now a Trader Joes parking lot.
No. 25/ Silver Lake Via Hyperion 
Housepaint on wood panel, weekday afternoon.
Originally I wasn’t trying to outlive this one, but some crab decided to wright inside the colors I laid out. I came back during 4pm traffic to outline and drip-out this one. The space was the old Hyperion Nursery and now is a good ol’ Trader Joes parking lot.
No. 23/ Linda Lea Theater, DTLA 
Housepaint & Spraypaint on wood, weekend afternoon.
There was an art walk as well as a small show at the Enshalla Gallery in Downtown Los Angles. Across the street was this abandoned Japanese theater once called the Linda Lea. I had been wanting this doorway for as long as I could remember. Lasted a month.
No. 22/ Beverly Blvd. 
Housepaint on Abandoned Storefront, weekday afternoon.
This one was the first time I was partially sweated by anyone for painting one of these. The owner of the property’s sister saw me painting it & called him. He actually came through thinking he was going to have to crunch me up, but after a short talk he let me rock the lil addition to the side. He wasn’t mad, especially after i inquired about the history of the property as well as the sick tiles above, which i took the color plays from.
No. 20/ Beverly Blvd y Martell 
Housepaint & Acrylic on wood panel, weekday morning.
I always was fond of this one. One reason, it was across the street from my old studio. And second, it just flowed nicely on that corner. It lasted for almost 2 months. The contractors even drilled it back up unevenly and crooked and it still rocked. I screwed up & didn’t take a picture of that interaction. The store became an upscale boutique.
No. 18/ Fairfax Blvd. .
Housepaint on wood panel, early weekday morning.
This building suffered a small fire one evening & was located in the heart of an Orthodox Jewish Community. The corporate movie poster crew that pastes these panels beat me to this spot. The morning I went to paint, it was still a touch damp with paste.
Melrose Blvd. East of La Brea 2003
Latex house paint & spray paint on wood construction panels.
weekday afternoon/ daytime illegal.
This was my first block style pieces on Melrose and it stayed up for almost 2 months. There was a great patchwork of wood panels I was drawn to and there weren’t that many advertisements littering the grain. Green was a color I always had on deck & felt this was fitting and comforting for the environment. Frankly, this is one of my favorite pieces from the series and was just about everyones favorite as well based on the feedback.
No. 15 
House paint and Spray paint on wood.
The Modernica store off of Beverly Blvd in the North Miracle Mile district carries modern furniture as well as artwork and industrial style lighting. The store was still in business, a bitt different as most of my previous wood panel murals were on spaces in mid transition or abandoned. I kinda had to ask for permission on this one since space was still in operation. They were very supportive of the project and the piece ran for a week… couldn’t say where it went after that.
Panel # 11
6th Street & La Brea Blvd.
House paint on wood panel
Early weekday morning.
This was just west of La Brea & used to be a well known street wear boutique in the 90’s. I was a bit overwhelmed with the size of this one, so I was going to be a bit more minimal to the best of my control, and it was, but only because I was cut short. The lead contractor working on the sight drove up and were kinda bigging on me. I gave him some run-around talk about why I was doing it without permission & then informed me that they were taking the wall down soon. Truth was it stayed up for 2 more weeks due to delays in construction.
2002. House paint & Spray paint. Hollywood, CA. Dye5 on the ‘Rapid Fire‘ piece up top. Mr. Trickster on the ‘West Coast’ at bottom. I mashed the cloud backgrounds and the B-boy with wings.
House paint & domestic spray paint on stucco
Early weekday afternoon
Back alley of a building for lease off La Brea. I was drawn to this wall because of the purple buff paint that someone used to cover some existing graffiti. that same buff ultimately became a part of my wall mural. I had not gotten permission to paint this piece and I was kind of sweating this one. The neighborhood was primarily ran by Orthodox Jews & they’re kind of hard cats to read. All in all it stayed for almost 4 months without a problem.
House paint & domestic spray paint on plaster
This was a street side wall to a Spanish apartment’s garage. A local neighborhood mural had adorned the wall perviously, but had been vandalized repeatedly. This style derived after the mural I completed for the Charizmatik store. It all revolved around the idea of movement, flow & layers. There is a ‘K’ in the center, which was intended, but the rest was a complete freestyle. Took about 2 hours & lasted a number of years.
Kofie Spell out
Krylon & Painters touch enamel spray paint on brick.
This piece was my shining star and signified my letter transition going into 1999. Mastering how to create each letter individually was a direction I was going into, yet I still fed off of the previous letter form as well as the next. I kept my colors mello, using soft like-color blends to highlight their shape and I really debated if I should highlight the letters. Im glad I didnt.
I painted this wall with a west Los Angeles Legend, JigzOne.