Kai (artist)

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Los Angeles, California
Alma materL'École des Beaux-Arts

Kaï (also known as Kaï Aspire) is an American artist. Guetta studied art in Europe, before becoming a street artist. His work has been exhibited in cities including Paris, Aspen, Miami, and Los Angeles, and focuses on anti-marketing themes. He has also worked with professional athletes and musical artists, partnering with them on group exhibitions.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Los Angeles,[1] Kai Guetta[2] goes by the pseudonym Kai, as well as Kai Aspire.[3] He was raised by a French-Tunisian father and Mexican-American mother. After high school he studied at the l'École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he not only learned about the discipline and technique of art but he also learned how to respect art as a way of life. Kaï eventually moved back to LA, where he currently lives.[1] Kaï is mostly known for his street art that decorates several American cities. Because he is based in Los Angeles, his work is mostly found there. He also creates paintings and sculptures. He finds inspiration for his art pieces from everyday life.


Kaï's first piece to receive public attention was a street art mural of a Marlboro cigarette pack with the term “Morons” replacing the brand’s name. During his teenage years, he continued to add graffiti pieces to surfaces in West Hollywood, typically with an anti-consumerism message.[4]

In 2012 he held his first solo exhibition at the Guetta Gallery in Los Angeles entitled Now Royalty, which consisted of paintings representing hip hop artists in medieval royal outfits and motifs.[5][6] Prior to the creation of the twenty-seven paintings, he trained in Italy and Holland in order to study the work of the Flemish Masters. In all the collection took four years to create.[2] In 2013 Kaï debuted his solo exhibition Lost Values at the Lab Art Gallery in Los Angeles, in which he spoofs commercial imagery.[7] In 2014 Kai took both of his exhibitions to Miami, in order to exhibit them at the Lulu Laboratorium.[7] Pieces from the collection have since sold to public figures in the hip hop industry, including Lil Wayne and P. Diddy.[8]

In 2013 Kaï held a guerilla solo exhibition in the Louvre-Rivoli station of the Paris metro. The exhibition featured sculptures of cigarette packets with ironic slogans similar to the pieces he first created in LA, and the Baroque-style oil paintings of hip hop icons from his Now Royalty collection.[9][10] The exhibition was set-up before the station opened as it had not been officially authorized by the city. Each piece was arranged as if it were in a real gallery, with pedestals for the sculpture pieces and secured frames for the paintings. Some of the pieces parodied the work within the Louvre Museum specifically.[11]

In 2015 Kaï began partnering with musical artist Chris Brown, under the pseudonym Konfused, to produce street art pieces under the label Konfuzed x Kai collection.[12][13] The two spray-painted Porsche vehicles for Fine Art Auction Miami’s Urban Art Week, in addition to several other pieces.[14] These pieces were then auctioned during the week.[15] Seven pieces were created by the two in all over a three-day period.[16] He has also partnered with NFL player Jarvis Landry for artwork in Wynwood, Miami.[17]

Kai and the Mayor of Le Touquet

At the 2016 Art Basel Miami, Kaï exhibited the installation piece Modern Relic,[18] and later that year he exhibited cement plaques in the city of Le Touquet, France.[19] In August 2017 Kaï affixed eight cement-relief pieces on the exteriors of seven buildings in Aspen, Colorado, causing the city to consider citing him for trespassing and destruction of property after his methods were seen as possibly damaging to the heritage value of the sites.[20]

In addition to gallery work, Kai has produced street art in several American cities, including Los Angeles and New York City.[21]

In September 2017 Kaï issue a limited edition serigraphy of "Love vs Money", one of his messages using the character IF (Imaginary Friend).[22] This Limited edition print sold out in 14 minutes [23] The same month Kaï painted the façade of Rag & Bone’s store in New York Houston Street.[23][24]

June 2018, Kaï collaborate with Kev Adams, French actor, in design the Kev Adam Popup store. [25]


  1. ^ a b "Interview: Kaï Aspire". Street Art Bio.
  2. ^ a b Galena Mosovich (March 28, 2014). "Young painter Kai Guetta depicts iconic rappers as royalty for solo exhibition at Lulu Laboratorium in Wynwood". Miami.com.
  3. ^ "ARE STREET ARTIST CRAZY?". Buzzfeed. July 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Tina Dhamija (May 3, 2012). "Kai: Street Artist Painted Kanye West and Eminem How They Act -- Like Medieval Kings". OC Weekly.
  5. ^ Cedar Pasori (May 5, 2012). "Rappers Painted As Royalty By Street Artist KAI". Complex.
  6. ^ Jenny Cusack. "KAI: Now Royalty - The LA street artist on turning hip hop stars into medieval royalty". Dazed Digital.
  7. ^ a b "Living in the Material World: Kaï Aspire's "Lost Values" Show". The Los Angeles Beat. October 25, 2013.
  8. ^ Shellie Frai (December 8, 2016). "Artists address modern issues, social climate in exhibitions at Art Basel".
  9. ^ "Un street artist envahit la station de métro Louvre-Rivoli à Paris pour une exposition solo sauvage" (in French). UFunk. February 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "Détournements à tous les coins de rue". Le Parisien. May 14, 2013.
  11. ^ "Street Artist Holds Unauthorized Solo Exhibition At The Louvre Metro Station". CBC. June 27, 2013.
  12. ^ Iyana Robertson (February 22, 2015). "Konfuzed x Kai: Chris Brown's Art Sells For $60K At Miami Auction". Vibe Magazine.
  13. ^ C. Vernon Coleman II (February 22, 2015). "Chris Brown's Art Sells for $60K at Miami Auction". XXL Magazine.
  14. ^ Madeleine Marr (February 13, 2015). "Chris Brown, behind the music". Miami Herald.
  15. ^ Andrew Lasane (February 13, 2015). "Chris Brown and Street Artist KAI Painted Graffiti This Week for an Upcoming Street Art Auction in Miami". Complex.
  16. ^ Eileen Kinsella (February 13, 2015). "Chris Brown's Art Finds Eager Buyers at Miami Street Art Auction". Artnet.
  17. ^ Ariana Figeuroa (December 12, 2016). "So, who knew Miami Dolphins' Jarvis Landry is an artist?". Miami Herald.
  18. ^ Ashley Parker (November 28, 2016). "Art Basel Miami Beach 2016: The Ultimate Party Guide [Mr Brainwash, W Magazine, Absolut Elyx, Alex Katz x H&M And More]". International Business Times.
  19. ^ David Sagot (May 3, 2017). "Ce qu'il faut savoir sur la nouvelle exposition de sculptures du Touquet". La Voix du Nord.
  20. ^ Curtis Wackerle (August 11, 2017). "Street art installations raise city's ire". Aspen Daily News.
  21. ^ Lois Stavsky (December 9, 2015). "Speaking with West Coast-Based Kai Aspire in NYC". Street Art NYC.
  22. ^ Press Release (September 12, 2017). "Kai Love vs Money First Limited Edition Silkscreen". Orlando Business Journal.
  23. ^ a b Toronto Paradise (September 20, 2017). "kai Aspire Rag Bone exclusive interview". Toronto Paradise.
  24. ^ Elizabeth Hamilton (December 31, 2017). "Street Artist Kai Aspire Breaks Contemporary Molds at SOHO's Rag & Bone". 20s.
  25. ^ https://www.sortiraparis.com/loisirs/shopping-mode/articles/169104-pop-up-store-kev-adams-le-2-juin