"Style Writing and mural painting are expressions of my soul. I create from a place of unconditional love for African people. My goal is to translate the visual landscape of struggling African communities.”
For well over two decades, Oakland California native Refa One has been instrumental in the development of the innovative, unorthodox genre of art known as “Aerosol Art” (Graffiti Art/Style Writing). Immersed in HipHop culture as a youth, the walls of urban structures became his canvas. Refa's refined HipHop calligraphy speaks to a legacy of style writing, a cultural tradition born from the NYC subway painting movement. A lifetime of involvement in HipHop culture via the Universal Zulu Nation combined with his radical political awareness, has translated into a successful career as a HipHop calligrapher, muralist, illustrator, activist, and educator. Refa’s design aesthetic promotes African culture as a vehicle for radical political and social change. His pieces are maps of vision and reflection that capture the intellectual value and heritage of the HipHop vernacular. His themes materialize in the fusion of his unique stylized letters and his use of eclectic cultural iconography. That fusion result is a multitude of powerful works engaging the spirit, intellect, and the imagination. His work has been featured nationally and in various countries throughout Europe and the African continent. Refa One is currently the director of AeroSoul, an international organization of spray can artists from the African Diaspora.