"This piece was painted in late 2011/early 2012. Usually when a new year comes around, I'm trying to find a new series to work on. I was experimenting with this thing called incising, which is basically like scribing. You're cutting away. It's what sand paper would do to a surface, but incising is like precisionist scraping out of an area. In this case, the scraping is a thick white gesso primer on top of a hardboard or masonite. I lay that in and then do my painting and then go back in and cut out thin lines with a razor point and expose certain line points.
I remember this piece being a fun one. I chose it because out of the series, this one had a nice balance. That is the other thing I'm always trying to go for, it's heavy enough but it's still subtle. At the end of the day, all my work is about balance and form. Having a clash between these contradictory soft color pallets against these linear structures, which is always this abstraction of the letter forms I learned while doing graffiti. There's also my interest in just line work and engineering kind of drafting type stuff." - 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, 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.