AeroSoul is a community institution and cultural resource that documents, promotes and develops the legacy and rich history of the African/African diaspora's writing culture commonly known as Aerosol Art or Spray Can Art. From ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) pyramid texts and Dogon (Mali) wall drawings to the wall paintings of (Haitian) Vodun temples; AeroSoul draws upon the legacy of African/African diasporic writing and literary narrative that is displayed on walls and architecture. AeroSoul’s international outreach and influence extends to Africa, Europe and Hawaii by collaborating with and showing the work of artists from all parts of Africa and the African diaspora. AeroSoul’s artists create murals in the HipHop aesthetic that advocate for self-determination in struggling Black and Brown communities.
We are raising money to be used to bring a Teen artist to Senegal for the international spray can art conference called Festigraff 8, held in Dakar Senegal (West Africa) April 13th 2017. The money will be used for airfare, lodging and the purchase of art materials such as respirators, brushes and paints. These materials will be donated directly to African artists participating in the International Festival(FestiGraff 8) who don't easily have access to such materials.
During FestiGraff this year, AeroSoul will work with artists from the African diaspora to create murals in Senegal themed around social justice, peace and love. We will also engage local African children in art lessons and mural painting. These efforts help to bring awareness to communities in need as well as supporting African self determination. We are building bridges with art and your support will help insure our success.
We will be leaving for Africa in April and as a result we need the funds from now until April 29th.
As artists who have worked with youth in both the US, the African diaspora and Africa our mission is to bring the value of our teaching and artistic skills in collaborative projects across African and African diasporic lines. Garnering the funds to go to Africa will make our work as ambassadors of aerosol art more powerful because we can arrive with the gift of material resources as well as our exemplary skills as artists. We've spent a lifetime acquiring the skills to create collaborative projects and those people who donate to our campaign will assist us with realizing a priceless teaching and creative experience in Africa.
Click Link below to support our GoFundMe Campaign.
As director of the AeroSoul organization I've been afforded the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity that has international influence amongst spray can Artists of African descent. It is an honor paired with great responsibility meant to inspire creativity that transforms community visual landscapes. Here is a short documentary highlighting some of the work AeroSoul Artists do in struggling neighborhoods where we promote LOVE through Art.
Yes Yes Y'all it's November,HipHop history month and it's also the 40th anniversary of the Universal Zulu Nation. This week Hard Knock Radio host Davey D explores the history of HipHop's eldest element, Style Writing (also known as HipHop Hieroglyphics). On hand to discuss the topic were seasoned veterans in the field, Refa One & Toons One of the TCB crew and the North Star Zulus. Both of them go in on this interview discussing the cultural youth phenomena that exploded onto the inner city streets of the Bay and LA in the early 80's. Such legendary artist and crews as Dream TDK, Soon1, PJ WCA, Charlie DTK, Paser KTD, Stare BSK, Bam TWS and ladies like ShenShen were the topic of discussion. Both artist also build on the cultural and political ins and outs of the movement. Toons speaks to the diversity of styles that came out of LA before the impact of the NYC flavor and how the two coastal styles blended together to form a unique look that would later become reputable around the globe. Refa One kicks the science of how the Bay Area carved it's own brand of style through various style masters who would also impose their raw creativity onto the mass transit lines of BART and Muni. So much history in so little time, but it is a great snap shot at a Golden Age in HipHop on the West Side. Expect more from the Bay Area Aerosol Heritage Society and AeroSoul on this subject.
Tune into Hard Knock Radio week days on KPFA 94.1 FM.
Click link below for the full interview.
Tuesday Morning gearing up for the 2nd Opening of "Electric Kingdom", Shirt King Phade and Refa1 join Davey D on Hard Knock Radio. The two Style Veterans Speak on Phade's new book "Shirt Kings, Pioneers of HipHop Fashion", the Gallery Exhibit,community murals and the Universal Zulu Nation. Be sure to listen and give us some feedback.
click link for Radio Archive
A trip down memory lane to when customization and art reigned supreme in New York City. Jamaica, Queens, New York in the mid 1980s. Rappers and hip hop fans came from all over the city to get their own customized T-shirt by The Mighty Shirt Kings. The style traveled all over the world through record covers, magazines and music videos and the Shirt Kings designs soon became synonymous with Hip Hop and the culture of making something out of nothing. Shirt Kings - Pioneers Of Hip Hop Fashion looks at the early days of urban fashion through the lens of the pioneering group of artists known as the Shirt Kings. By adapting the graffiti skills from the trains and spray cans to shirts and airbrush they created a new look for a new generation. Edwin PHADE Sacasa is a founding artist of the group and it is through his archives that we are transported to the 1980s in New York City where the fashion of the day was loud, colorful, and filled with cartoon imagery on clothes; but not just any cartoon imagery for the cartoons were urbanized. Mickey Mouse with a Fila suit, Casper the Friendly Ghost with gold teeth, Roger Rabbit with a flat top hair do and Pink Panther with gold chains and guns - it was the reinterpretation of American classics but with an urban and gangster lean. The Shirt Kings were the inventors of this style and everyone across the city was well aware and made there way to Jamaica, Queens, to a small shopping mall known as the Coliseum where you could easily bump into the biggest names in Hip Hop of the day placing orders. HipHop Artist like DJ Red Alert, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and Mike Tyson - they all had to have their Shirt Kings designs. Shirt Kings - Pioneers of Hip Hop Fashion chronicles the art, the styles, and the people who were loyal supporters of the Shirt Kings style and takes us on a trip down memory lane to when customization and art reigned supreme in New York City.
"Shirt Kings brought the Hip Hop element into the clothes for real and integrated it, and it was the first time I saw Hip Hop culture completely merged with clothing."
- LL Cool J
"The Shirt Kings network was fashion TV of the times, and advertising and promotion way before it became trendy."
- Chuck D, Public Enemy
"The first shirt I ever threw on that had anything on it that represented my heart was Shirt Kings."
- KRS One
About the Author
Born in East New York, Brooklyn, Edwin PHADE Sacasa studied photography at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan and graduated from Savannah Collage of Art and Design with major in video production. PHADE has been airbrushing for the entertainment industry for more than two decades and founded the Shirt Kings store in the mid 1980s, where he serviced many of todays Hip Hop stars and pioneers, such as Jay Z and Run DMC. PHADE is working with youth in the inner city and have developed a program that teaches urban fashion through airbrushing, art therapy and entrepreneur skills.
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Dokument Press (April 15, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
It was just a hop, skip and a jump from Oaklandish toSolespace, for the opening of “Electric Kingdom,” a group show by the bicoastal TMT crew, curated by Oakland aerosol legend Refa One. The show, which runs until the end of September, features works by Refa, Chain 3, Tean 5, Kade, Sak, Skeme, Shame 125, Web, Stem, Cre8, Mad, Kufu, and Enk 1, plus guest artist Soon 1. It’s a notable exhibit in that it connects West Coast aerosol artists to their Bronx, NY counterparts.
On Friday night, Drasar Monumental and Planet Rocker, of the Northstar Zulus, spun old-school hip-hop, as heads mingled amidst the exposition of the culture’s first element. That was followed by an artist talk featuring Skeme, Refa, and Kufu the next evening, moderated by artist and author Duane Deterville.
Some interesting things came out of that conversation, such as Skeme revealing that the controversial word “graffiti” – which has been eschewed by aerosol practitioners of late – is actually his preferred term. “I ain’t no aerosol muralist, I’m a graffiti writer,” declared Skeme, who noted that the original Italian word graffiti is derived from, graffito, is a technique which involves making a drawing by covering a surface, then etching away at it, revealing the undersurface.
Skeme also ran down the storied history of the original TMT crew, whose moniker stands variously for The Magnificent Team, and Ten Million Tags, among other acronyms. The veteran writer encouraged younger artists to learn about the artform’s history, and also decried the cultural appropriation of graffiti by Caucasian writers whose efforts, he opined, tended to be more linear and less “funky” then black and Latino artists.
Refa explained the show’s inspiration came from Twilight 22’s classic 1983 electro-hop song as well as the energy conducted through the process of making art, which he said had “flow, vibration, rhythm.” There’s a connection, added Kufu, between present-day urban hieroglyphics and “ancient Egyptian electro-magneticism” reflected in color patterns which remain similar through “spans of eons and millenniums.”
-Eric K Arnold
For the full Article click the link
The “Aerosoul” exhibit was frankly, huge, with 140 pieces occupying the better part of two whole floors at the AACC. One floor was entirely dedicated to art drawn by youth; the other contained a treasure-trove of mostly graffiti-style inscriptions, canvases, burners, and portraits painted or written by a prolific list of legendary artists from the Bay Area, L.A., New York, even Europe and Africa. Emphasizing aerosol art’s identification with urban hieroglyphics, a Kemetic (Egyptian) theme ran throughout. Curator Refa 1 broke down the science behind this year’s show: “Aesosoul 3 is a testament to us continuously doing this work in the community, to represent the African narrative in spraycan art, as well as bringing our cultural craft back into the community and building with our youth.” The show, he continued, was representative of work done all year round, through classes, workshops, and community murals—“especially in some of the communities that are struggling with youth violence.”
What’s different about the show from last year, Refa added, was the addition of “seasoned veterans from the brown community,” in addition to African and African American artists. Their inclusion, he emphasized, recognizes “that we both come from the same cultural root, that we both share in the same struggles.”
-Eric K Arnold
For the full Article click the link
AeroSoul's Director Refa One goes on Air with HipHop Journalist Davey D and also gives an in-depth interview with Minister of Information JR.
Tune in,Turn On and Get Hip.
KPFA (Morning Mix/Hard Knock Radio)
San Francisco Bayview Paper
AeroSoul is a community institution and Cultural resource developed to promote the legacy and rich history of the African Diaspora's contribution to Writing Culture. AeroSoul is also a Movement built to seed struggling communities of color with public Art created through the HipHop medium. This site is designed to promote youth advocacy through HipHop's first element. Passing on Writing's rich traditions to youth insures that our Cultural Rituals have the Power to Free our collective Minds & Spirits.