Kai: Street Artist Painted Kanye West and Eminem How They Act -- Like Medieval Kings
While the anti-smoking/anti-drinking messages are pretty obvious no-no's to most young people from an early age, I saw that you also did a mural on the dangers of credit cards and debt. What inspired you create a piece about that?
Well, as I started making street art the economy started to dip, and people started to realize money doesn't grow on trees and life's a little harder than you think it is. So, as I started to get a little older I started to understand how credit works and I realized that the credit card is the perfect way to create debt. It's unfair that they [credit card companies] grab you when you're young and then you're stuck forever paying a percentage on money you just don't have. Basically, if you wanna create problems for yourself, you should get a credit card.
Tell me about the new collection. What inspired you to feature these particular artists, and what are you trying to say by having them in this medieval context?
These artists were an inspiration for me. When I started making street art I was listening to them, listening to their lyrics and a lot of them fight for the people. And, so they just became an inspiration to me, just being them [in the musical context]. But as I started to study them, and understand who they were [and are], I realized that the way they walked, the way they spoke, the way they dressed, and the way they paraded around town, they paraded like kings and noblemen, so I decided to portray them that way.
Did you start out deciding to create pieces about each of the music artists you've painted or is there one who started it?
The 50 Cent piece is the one that started it all. His lyrics were really inspiring me at the time, so I created the one of him and the rest grew from there.
What message do you hope people will take away from this exhibit?
I'm hoping people will see the strength in them and want to know more about them. I know why they each were an inspiration to me, but you can't see what's in my mind and I can't see what's in yours. So, this way people can see what's inspiring about them and want to learn more.
Speaking of exhibiting and spreading your message, do you have a dream venue where you would like to someday have your work shown?
MOCA [the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles]. I would love to have my work featured there. It would be such an honor.
Do you have a favorite piece among all of your work thus far?
I'm a fan of all of my pieces. I have a special connection to how each was made, so in that way, they're all like my little babies. If I had to choose one though, it would be "Morons" because it did what it was supposed to do.
The "Now Royalty" exhibit opens to the public on Friday, May 4 at the Guetta Gallery, 645 Martel Ave., Los Angeles, 90046. The first 100 guests receive a free collectable print.