Geometric Collages Made From Ephemera by Augustine Kofie
In a world where everything seems to be digitized, we hunt down the simplicity in “old-fashioned” items. Ones that tell stories of times gone by and hark back to a day when computers weren’t an essential part of daily life.
Augustine Kofie is an artist who’s keenly influenced by ephemera from the past that include file folders, index cards and notepads from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. He uses their geometric shapes and simple patterns to create new-age collages that are both old and new.
Kofie is inspired by an age when data wasn’t simply entered on a computer. Instead, it was filed in paper form and kept tidy through pen-to-paper systems. It’s at this cross-section of archaic organization and modern-day digitization methods that Kofie has found his niche. Using vintage materials from the past, he presents the simplistic art of data entry in a more complicated era.
Kofie begins by scouring junk stores and antique shops to find office materials from yesteryear, which he then layers into geometric collages. When the base is finished, he works ballpoint pen, silkscreen designs, and acrylic shapes over the top to create architectural compositions that look like a cross between building blueprints, futuristic paintings, and cubism masterpieces.
With a background in illustration and architecture, Kofie brings his artistic skills together to create pieces that are unlike any other around at the moment.
His inspiration draws from a compendium of movements and styles, including Italian Futurism from the early 20th century, where an obsession with powerful technology was brought to the forefront of hand-rendered artworks, and the layered wonders of Robert Rauschenberg – particularly his “Combines” series. Kofie draws inspiration from the juxtaposing display of images and the transfer techniques that create a sense of texture and never-ending layers.
“In a way, I try my best to emulate those aesthetics,” says Kofie, “but take it a step further to find my own language.” This language is, in theory, found and presented through paper ephemera from the past. Kofie likens his technique to sampling an old record, and “truncating, re-editing and overlapping that down over a beat.” In the case of Kofie’s collages, the beat is the underlying composition.
But it’s not just Kofie’s fascination with vintage finds that make his pieces so unique. It’s the contrast of that and his love of basic building blocks in the geometric world – a love that was nurtured during his architect days. His past as a graffiti artist (Kofie really is an artist with many layers!) has helped him select certain colour forms that work well with structured designs, whilst his experimental fondness of lines, drafts, and pre-production concepts add a raw and mathematical touch to his pieces.
But these are not scientific works of art by any stretch of the imagination. They still ooze an aesthetic that’s both organic and full of soul. A new brand of retro-futuristic charm, if you will.
Over the years Kofie has exhibited his pieces all over the world, from the streets of America to high-end galleries in Paris. This year he’ll be showcasing his geometric masterpieces in “INVENTORY”, a solo exhibition being held at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York between 21st November and 19th December.
Enjoy the track “Heldled ” by 1800HaightStreet while viewing the gallery below.
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