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ART REVIEW: Vintage Futurism

by Austin Cottle 2 March 2009 127 views 3 Comments

Kofie One
Vintage Futurism
Zero1 Gallery, 540 South Hewitt Street, Barker Block - Ste. 141
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Opening Reception - Saturday, February 28, 2009

This past Saturday night, Zero1 Gallery of Los Angeles hosted an opening reception for artist Kofie One (pronounced Kōfee Won). Zero1 Gallery, known for seeking the non-traditional, emerging talent of Southern California, kicked off an exhibition of Kofie’s recent works, which, as stated in the exhibition’s title, is a provoking blend of old and new. The artist, born and raised in West Los Angeles, brings his early influences into a precise, aesthetic amalgamation.

Triangulation's Of Cats Paw

Triangulation's Of Cats Paw

“My mother was an artist…my father was an independent contractor who never really had an official title…and I guess that’s where the ideas for my work began.” Kofie has been an active artist in the LA area for the last 12 years, beginning with an emphasis on urban inspired graffiti art. It wasn’t until late ‘99 and early ‘00 that Kofie began to incorporate industrial aesthetics. “I guess it began when I was creating letter styles through graffiti art…traditionally, letters and characters possess a traditional ‘bubble-look’ around the outlines. For some reason, it didn’t feel like it was enough, since I wanted the 3D letters to have more depth.” In search of that ‘depth,’ Kofie embarked on a creative search for new techniques that brought him to his present threshold.

Kofie explained the process, which included a paper chopper, 1970’s era paper files, vintage office supplies, labels, wood glue, and water-based acrylics. “Something about the visual elements of recent past really struck me,” says Kofie. Indeed, his art communicates a true blend of timeless analog design and modern connotation; as if his creative thought process manifested a merger of a 1970’s architect, a 00’s collage artist, and an open-minded urban planner. “He is truly a product of his time” says Zero1 gallery curator Christina Ochoa. “Kofie’s style is very unique and really brought me back to a time that I’m very fond of.”

Catalyst Study

Catalyst Study

Interestingly enough, Saturday’s reception was Kofie’s first American showing, having already had two major showings in Japan, the most recent live art Q&A taking place in June 2008. “It started with a clothing line I started a while back called Draftsman, which is now on hiatus” says Kofie. “I had a distributor and would do live painting/talks to promote the line. The response there was very gracious and accepting.” From what I gathered at the reception, the response of Los Angeles art-goers was similar in its positive energy: enthusiastic, drinking in the details of each piece. Despite positive response, every artist has his/her own qualms. “Opening nights are weird.” says Kofie, “I’m your typical Scorpio; very low key, so things like this are outside of my typical social characteristics.”

As for the future of his endeavors and idea mining, Kofie prefers the ‘day-by-day’ approach. For fans and curious people alike, Kofie will be present for a ‘Conversation with the Artist‘ presentation on March 12th at Zero1 gallery. “I will probably answer some questions, shed some light on the why, and gauge responses” says Kofie. Until then, Vintage Futurism will be on exhibition through Saturday, March 29th. You can also check out more details at the links below, and see the artist at work in the video below.


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  • GAY GAYG AGY said:


  • Tim said:

    Sweet artwork!

  • Terrell said:

    Kofie is my favorite local artist.

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