GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Graffiti artists "Pocket Full of Monsters," clockwise from bottom, Kawika Samson, Aaron Martin, Koak and Newkon, will sell their offerings at Friday's "Slippah Show" at Prototype in Pearlridge Center.
Flip-floppin’ for a cause
Koak once indulged his creative impulses by tagging. While he still considers himself a graffiti artist, Koak hopes to be "a better role model for kids" and now creates airbrush art (and not on someone else's property).
The Slippah Show
To benefit the Ewa Beach Limu Project
On view: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday
Place: Prototype, Pearlridge Uptown
Admission: Free. Slippers cost $25 to $50.
He says he has long been inspired by old break dancing movies in which graffiti art was used to benefit a cause -- and now he has an opportunity to make a difference himself. Koak is a part of "The Slippah Show," showcasing more than 50 artists, locally and from around the globe, all using the same canvas: rubber slippers.
Artists were given slippers to customize, with no limitations on their creativity. The slippers will be sold for $25 to $50, with all proceeds going to the Ewa Beach Limu Project to help replant native Hawaiian seaweed and remove alien algae.
"We utilize whatever we can as a canvas," said Koak, an artistic director at a local clothing store. "The slippers represent how we walk in life. Everyone is so different and it kind of reflects our personality."
Koak's comment on personality rang true for another artist, Kawika. His piece -- a monkey with oversized slipper hands -- was inspired by the "three wise monkeys" trio and represents his need to be heard. "This piece hears everything," said Kawika, who was inspired by his grandmother.
"My grandmother used to do oil paintings. She had pictures of us as children growing up. I was doing stuff as soon as I could pick up a paintbrush and now I work in all media."
Newkon created a pair of slippers painted on the bottom with an angel on one side, a devil on the other. "My girlfriend inspired me. She is the angel, so I guess that makes me the devil," he laughed.
Newkon was moved to create his own art after he began letting graffiti artists paint the walls of his dance studio in Waipahu. "I gave them a place to paint legally," he said. An ongoing mural on a hidden wall is available for those "itching to do some graffiti." It provides a positive outlet, he said. Graf writers also bring their black books, do signings and draw in each other's books.
Angry Woebot's slippers had to include an angry panda, an image he's become known for in his shows from Vancouver, Canada, to San Diego and Hawaii. "I didn't want to just paint on the piece," he said. "I tend to challenge myself."
Angry Woebot needed extra slippers to cut up and use for embellishment. One slipper ended up as a local girl in a muumuu, with slipper straps for hair. The other is a panda bear.
Boston artist MCA (Evil Design) sent his slippers from afar -- sporting a stenciled pattern based on his "Evil Ape" character. "I thought using rubber slippers was a fun idea and it fit well with the place the show was going to be held, Hawaii," MCA said via e-mail. "I have never been, but I can picture some cute girls on the beach walking around in my slippahs!"