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East Coast, West Coast: A Conversation Around Aerosol Art Misconceptions
Nov 13, 2020 – 12:00 pm - 1:00 pmFree
This webinar is a part of the series Reclaiming Wellness which unpacks and breaks down the complexities and assumptions surrounding diverse methods of expression, engagement, and wellness – and its personal and communal impact on our health. Join us as we move beyond the dominant narrative to explore our connection to land, tradition, and art.
A community conversation with COCO144 (NYC), Sake One (SD), and Chor Boogie (SF)
Join us for a virtual conversation between aerosol artists from different corners of the United States, who share the same love, respect, and connection to aerosol art. Hear the different artists talk about some of the myths and misconceptions that surround aerosol art, and how they navigate this complex and creative field. Each artists will give a presentation about their work and approach, with a question and answer section in the second half of the session.
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About the Speakers:
A West Coast pioneer of New York Style Writ’n & Hip Hop Culture, Sake, has been an influential part of the first wave of kid aerosol artists. A self-taught artist since the age of 7, it was a natural progression for him. He was inspired by the art created on subways and the New York Street culture that was on TV, like ”Night Flight” and music videos. After watching a made for television movie called “Dreams Don’t Die” on May 21st, 1982, Sake, immediately went out to paint his first crude piece of illegal art using the Name ”SOLO.”
Roberto Gualtieri, “COCO144,” was born in Harlem, New York City in 1956. His mother Aurelia, immigrated from Ponce, Puerto Rico; and his father Gaetano from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Roberto was nicknamed COCO, by his parents as a term of endearment. During his childhood, COCO acquired an interest in drawing, and developed his self-taught skills creating objects with paper and, cutting cardboard to make models, and scenarios.
In late 1969, at the age of 12; while attending junior high school; COCO was intrigued by the writings of names and political statements, and with a desire to express something; he began to do the same on the way to, and from school. He continued writing his name on his street where he lived, on the buildings, rooftops, and basements within the surrounding neighborhood.
In 1970, during his first year of high school; COCO moved on to paint on the trains, and participated in the first generation of subway writers from 1970 to 1972, which is where he added the street number, 144; making a significant mark on the Broadway # 1 IRT line, becoming one of the major writers of Manhattan. While painting in the subway system he created the first stencil in the movement, inventing a new tactic to get up faster.
In 1972 he co-founded United Graffiti Artists, which consisted of 20 of the most prolific subway/street writers of New York City. UGA, as it was called, was where the concept of drawing on large paper pieces, and painting on canvas in a workshop environment was invented. Thus COCO 144 became one of the first writers to ground break into the art world in 1973 introducing what is recognized as the graffiti culture at the Razor Gallery at SoHo, in New York with UGA.
COCO continues to explore with film, and experiment with different techniques; surfaces, using spray-paint and ink markers, mix Medias, silk-screens, and three-dimensional works that incorporate his name in some shape or form. “My work reflects a modern form of expression, a language, a system of communication, a technology with a branch of knowledge dealing with life, society, and the environment…the sciences…with a systematic practice that is continually evolving in the writing of my name”
COCO’s work has been exhibited in New York, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Europe. In 2010 and 2011 he participated in painting at the Wynwood Walls/Doors in Miami. In 2008, 2016 and 2018 he’s been commissioned to paint murals at The Rockefeller University. COCO’s work is in private collections, as well as in The Museum of the City of New York, and The New York Historical Society.
Chor Boogie, aka Joaquin Lamar Hailey, is an internationally acclaimed spray paint artist, recognized for having achieved a groundbreaking level of technical and emotional virtuosity in the medium of spray paint. He approaches his use of color as a form of therapy and visual medicine. He is primarily self taught, though first nurtured by the world of street art.
He has produced murals and art exhibitions all over the globe including the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Smithsonian, Museum of Public Arts in Baton Rouge, Museum of Art Puerto Rico, LA Art Fair, Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Museum of Man in San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, Children’s Museum in San Diego, Syracuse University Museum. Chor served as lead artist in an NEA grant awarded through the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art to mentor underserved youth through a professional level mural project. Miami New Times named one of his murals as the Best Miami Mural for 2016.
Through his dynamic range of artistic styles, Chor addresses issues of class struggle, corporate corruption, social justice, drug policy reform, health care, environmental issues, and indigenous peoples rights. He resides in the San Francisco bay area where he is an active member of the street art community.