Kaï

Sharing a unique perspective into modern-day values.

Kaï Guetta (he/him) is an Angeleno native who continues to live and work in Los Angeles, USA.

Career

A cross-continental art education saw Kai study at the prestigious L’École des Beaux Arts in Paris, before returning to Los Angeles to enroll at the California Institute of Arts.

Did you know?

Kai’s first public artwork was conceived as an attempt to persuade his father to give up smoking. Glibly titled Morons, the series saw him paste cigarette packets with ironic slogans across the streets of Los Angeles.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Kaï’s self-named ANTI-advertising harnesses commercial aesthetics to share positive, anti-consumerist messages. His multimedia approach spans painting, sculpture, mural and collage – created with a range of materials including spray-paint, acrylic, wood and cement. The protagonist of his work is a minimalist cartoon character named IF, or Imaginary Friend. Based on the archetypal WC sign, IF is designed to have no discernable race, gender or status, so as to symbolise social inclusivity. When realising new incarnations of IF, Kaï draws inspiration from elements of his cultural heritage and artistic upbringing, including the French comics his Tunisian father gave him as a child and traditional Mexican relief techniques passed on from his mother.

Kaï sees his art as a means to raise and sustain consciousness. Often exhibited in public spaces like train stations and car parks, the works are rooted heavily in street art traditions which seek to democratise art by making it free and accessible. By extension, Kaï sets out to make his subjects and the situations they find themselves in as universal as the contexts in which he places them. The result is a practice centred on critique of a world governed by money and power, realised through positive symbols of love and hope - a light-hearted yet urgent call for resistance.

“Plant a seed in the viewer's mind, let them decide if it lives or dies.” Kaï