When I walked into KAI’s solo show at Guetta Gallery I was taken back by the magnificent frames surrounding his pieces. Not to distract away from his paintings, but it’s just rare to see frames like the ones in his show on contemporary works. However, it was also fitting that they were around them at the same time, since the aesthetic of his exhibit “Now Royalty” is a mash-up of rappers and classical portraiture.
KAI has demonstrated a mastery of technique throughout all of his paintings. Whether it was Will Smith and his wife or of Biggie Smalls in the most elaborate of fashions, they all retained the subject’s signatures. It’s especially incredible to see, considering that KAI is better known as a street artist in the Los Angeles area – whose MORONS parodies of Marlborough ads and stop sign stickers literally cover all of Hollywood.