Art by Kai Aspire.
If you live in Los Angeles, you’ve surely seen the work of Kai Aspire. His iconic parody of the Marlboro Red cigarette pack (Morons – see pictures below) has been pasted everywhere! His art has made the leap from the streets to the galleries, but little is known about Kai Aspire – until now! I recently sat down with the reclusive artist and he answered a few questions. Enjoy!
According2G: Tell us a little bit about your background including how you got started in street art?
Kai:I grew up in a house full of art, so technically speaking it’s in my “blood.” I think I got into street art when I was around 12 years old. I surfed, skated, snowboarded, and that kind of stuff and street art always has some kind of connection to those activities, but the real game changer was seeing Banksy’s show in LA. I didn’t even know it was street art, I looked at it and thought it was extremely clever and well put together.
A2G: Who are some of your heroes/influences?
Kai: I have many influences, my father is a big one; but most of my inspirations come with the experiences I have lived through.
Kai: I aspire to be a life changer. Moreso for individuals then anything broader, I really hope that my art touches individuals and gets them thinking.
A2G: What’s on your iPod?
Kai: My iPod is completely filled. I have everything on it starting from classic rock, to classical music, rap, hip hop, but my favorite would have to be R and B.
Kai: My inspiration comes from experiences and feelings. my ideas come to me more naturally, as I go on with my day to day routine, I don’t necessarliy have to sit down and think.
Kai: It matters who you ask.
A2G: What’s been the coolest thing to happen to you as a result of your art?
Kai: I’m an anonymous artist. However, a mom bought her daughter one of my painting for her 21st birthday and asked me to sign it “happy 21st birthday.” I later learned that the daughter could have had anything for her birthday but she chose a painting by me. It was a great feeling.
A2G: Any close calls?
Kai: Yes, I got caught putting up artwork in Beverly Hills. I got cuffed and as time passed more cops came to the scene. After about an hour of being hand cuffed, sitting on the curb, and having my car raided, they let me go on condition that I take down what ever I put up that night. The reason they didn’t arrest me was because all of the 5 out of 6 officers liked my work and saw the messages I was trying to spread.
A2G: Future Plans?
Kai: I’m planning a solo show.
You can learn more about Kai Aspire on his official website. You can also see his art on the streets of Los Angeles, New York and at Lab Art Gallery in LA. Thanks again Kai!