Creating art through the spray can


Chor Boogie works on his latest installment “Bloom Bash” for the San Diego Museum of Art. He repeatedly spray paints a blend of floral colors onto several large canvases on April 7. Photo credit: Richard Lomibao

Franchesca Walker, Co-Arts & Features Editor

Artist Chor Boogie is no stranger to color. If you’re familiar with his art, you can identify the wide spectrum of colors that come together on his murals which have been seen across the globe.

From Egypt to China, Boogie has painted in infinite countries and cities displaying emotional art with graceful movement.

Wearing blue gloves and a respirator mask to protect him from strong fumes, Chor uses multiple cans of spray paint in spring-like colors to overlap the art he painted early that day and the day before. He’s working on his latest show, “Bloom Bash,” which will debut at the San Diego Museum of Art for the opening of Art Alive 2015.

Chor’s show will consist of 14 pieces of art designed by him. Ten large canvases of 14-by-14-foot pieces and two 10-by-14-foot canvases painted with spray paint, a large 10×10 canvas sewn with denim and red paisley textiles, and a sculpture made entirely of spray paint cans will be featured.

On the first day of production, he knocks out eight pieces painted in base colors in four hours. The following day, he picks up the cans ranging in various colors and paints in movements.

On designing, Chor says he works with an open mind and usually doesn’t have a plan to paint. “I don’t have too much in mind, I think that conflicts with the creative process just a little bit, you know? It is a process, but you also gotta let it free flow.”

Everything he paints is strictly with spray paint. “No additives, no preservatives,” Chor jokes.

At an early age of 13, Chor Boogie was introduced to spray paint and took his canvas outside of his home and onto the streets that surrounded him. However, he recalls picking up a pencil and illustrating in his youth at as young as 5 years old.

Identified early with graffiti art, Chor explained that he initially disliked the word because it wasn’t coined
by pioneering artists
but instead the govern-
ment, which looked down upon the art.

“The word graffiti is
 a negative connotation. (Street art) is changing some, but it still has connotations. But I would say the whole street art movement has definitely taken things to a different level.”

Chor described how he began painting characters oppose to traditional letter form of street art and early influences of seeing art at a young age. “I didn’t really get into letter forms, mainly more imagery, characters and all that stuff. … The definition of writing is so different from graffiti, because writing is just straight up pieces and burners. The bombing and other stuff, that’s graffiti,” Chor says.

“When it comes to this style, I’m incorporating stuff that I seen when I was growing up from when I first started and looking at trains and aqua ducks and stuff that were painted up. I was a kid and they were just murdered with tags over tags over tags. Then they bombed it with piece over it and it would be a protocol kind of thing.”

Chor’s art is rooted in San Diego, specifically Oceanside where he is from, and has sprouted up north to San Francisco. 
With an opportunity to live rent-free in the bay area in a loft-studio, Chor packed his bags and headed north in 2009.

“All I did was paint; that was part of the deal. Once you take that step in believe in what you do, believe what in yourself, and just know you’re going places you gotta do it. Because once I left — it’s all part of the path — things just started rising, things just started happening and going up and going up. And they still are.”