1xRun Thru Interview
Afterlife Series by Ian Kuali’i
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this series, how did the idea come about?
Ian Kuali’i: I first started working with rusty spray cans about 14 years ago but just recently (about three years ago) started knocking out the cans in this style. This edition created for 1xRUN was created in late 2012 and early 2013.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Ian Kuali’i: The concept for this on-going series came about after one of my excursions to a well known graffiti spot in Downtown Jersey City. I discovered all of these discarded cans…… and I thought to myself, “This tool gave us life and here we are just discarding it’s empty vessel” So the idea was to harvest these rusty cans and give life back to them so that maybe they could be remembered again.
1xRun: How long do these pieces take?
Ian Kuali’i: 10-15 minutes each depending on my laziness.1xRun: What is unique about these pieces?
Ian Kuali’i: Each can produced is one of a kind, and each of the cans are unique in two ways. Each of the hand cut design elements are unique from one another and no two of the rusty cans are the same due to weathering and oxidation. I work to fit the cut-outs to the right cans and vice versa.
1xRun: Why should people buy a piece from the Afterlife series?
Ian Kuali’i: To quote Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def “The kid’s better buy my rookie card now. Cause after this year the price ain’t comin’ down!”1xRun: Describe these pieces in one gut reaction word.
Ian Kuali’i: Resurrection.1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Ian Kuali’i: I know it sounds corny…but I’ve been creating for as long as memory serves me. I grew up in a household where art in all forms was encouraged. The first art piece I remember doing was an old crayon/construction paper drawing of me battling Darth Vader in B-Boying circa 84-85.
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on? What artists inspire you now?
Ian Kuali’i: Hands down early in my life…Doze Green, Futura/Futura2000, Jean Michel Basquiat, Vaughn and Mark Bode, Phase2, Kase2, Dondi White, A-One, Rammellzee, Zephyr for his handstyles and a lot of the Chicano gangsters that lived in my SoCal neighborhood growing up. Now, oh man…so many! To throw out the short list, everyone I mentioned as earlier inspirations but now add Chaz Bojorquez, Coco144, Mare139, The Barnstormers/Inkheads family, MSK/AWR, K2S, KRT, THR/PVC, TC5/FC/IBM, The Date Farmers, Sam Rodriguez, Kara Walker, Mark Bradford, Sam Kaai, Keone Nunes and Pua Van Dorpe.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work?
Ian Kuali’i: Alice Coltrane, ESG, Suicide and any music from New York City that I missed out on have been on heavy rotation lately.
1xRun: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Ian Kuali’i: I would love to do a massive hybrid art installation with Carlos ‘Mare139’ Rodriguez, Flying Lotus and/or Gaslamp Killer incorporating Mare139’s metal sculpture, my large scale hand cut paper works and Flying Lotus/Gaslamp Killer composing the whole time with audio/visual all throughout the install space to create a crazy Supernova like piece. I think it would be incredible! So…if any Angel Investors out there have about $100,000 they wish to throw my direction to make this happen please contact me ;) For the latter, it would be Rammellzee and Hunter S Thompson…because it would be rad!
1xRun: What are your plans now that spring and summer are here?
Ian Kuali’i: Now that the NYC Metro weather is getting better I plan on exploring more, doing more illegal work on the streets and hitting the not so freezing art studio heavier.