Los Angeles artist Augustine Kofie created a body of work with an incredible futuristic quality, despite being made from forgotten materials of the past. Kofie finished his art education at high school but became a key player in the L.A. graffiti scene of the 1990s. Here, he nurtured skills in principles of colour, perspective, composition and layering techniques.
Pictured above is Classic Off Grid Activities (2015) made from found paper, acrylic, screen print, white out, ball point pen and spray paint on cradled birch panel. Framed in mahogany lattice & found vintage yardsticks.
INVENTORY, a recent solo exhibition at New York’s Jonathan LeVine Gallery, is a collection of mixed media works made from found, reclaimed press or chip-board and vintage office supplies from the 1950s to the 1980s. Materials include steno notepads, file folders, envelopes, index cards, or industrial packaging designed, printed and manufactured in the USA, all sourced from local estate sales. Pictured above Standard Practice (2015).
The word inventory, “a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or contents of a building,” comes into English from the Late Latin inventarium, a “list of what is found,” from the Latin invenire, “to devise, discover, find.” Invention and inventory are thus linked: the making of something new comes from the discovery of something existent, its subsequent cataloguing, storing, and use as stock.
Kofie’s works reflect his love of typography, pre-production renderings, architectural drawings and illustration. Squares, circles, triangles and a strong sense of perspective are blended with colour and tone, interspersed with retro references from vintage type and materials.
Kofie’s interest in office supplies arose from his own obsession with cataloging. A self confessed ‘compartmentaliser’, creating these works entailed a methodical process, with all the materials meticulously inventoried and archived before being reused in assemblage pieces, reworked with pencil, ballpoint pen, silkscreen and ink. This process of cataloging is exactly what the materials he incorporates were originally manufactured for. Pictured above – Steno Rotations (2015)
Golden Projection Lamp (2015)
Images via Augustine Kofie