Artist Spotlight CHOR BOOGIE
Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey, is a critically acclaimed spray paint artist whose visionary murals and exhibitions appear around the world. Named number three on Societe Perrier’s list of Top Ten U.S. Street Artists of 2014 and dubbed “the color shaman,” the artist practices art for therapy and visual medicine and is loved by countless comrades and fans. Boogie was inspired by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Klimt, Van Gogh, Dali and early personal mentors, Phase2, Vul- can, and Riff170, who were among the first notable creators in the cultural movements of both street art and hip hop. Primarily self-taught, Chor was first nurtured by the world of street art and has become rec- ognized for his achievement in a profound level of technical and emotional virtue in the medium of spray paint. He addresses issues of race, class, gender, neo-impe- rialism, corporate corruption, substance abuse, health care, drug policy reform and the rights of indigenous peoples in his work. He also uses his voice as an artist and public figure to raise awareness about indigenous African wisdom traditions.
In 2014, Chor experienced a profound physical and spiritual healing with the aid of a traditional African Bwiti shaman and the African visionary sacred plant medicine known as iboga. He then traveled to Africa to receive full initiation into his shaman’s Bwiti tribe and undergo the tra- ditional Bwiti men’s Rite of Passage. Since the transformation, the artist integrates traditional African imagery and elements of his iboga visions into his contemporary works, visually transmitting the very heart of the medicine and the Bwiti culture of healing.
Chor’s original mural walls adorned the Gallery 212 Miami walls facing NW 2nd Avenue in Wynwood from 2013-2015. The project spanned over two years, starting during the 2013 Miami Art Basel, and was a part of the artist’s LOVE world tour, which stopped in Miami in October of 2014. In the mural at Gallery 212 Miami, he incor- porated some of his signature characters and designs, including his White Tiger and Boogie Birds.
Chor Boogie resides in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is an active member of the street art community and has painted several notable commissioned public mu- rals including “The Eyes of San Francisco,” “Purgatory,” and “Opium Horizons.”