MAPS Bulletin Winter 2015 Vol. 25, No. 3
Front cover: The Love Dance
spray paint on canvas
48 x 72 in
Back cover: Love Land
detail of public mural
Crans Montana, Switzerland
The Love Dance is inspired by the loving intelligence and healing powers of the iboga medicine. Two years ago, the artist Chor Boogie suffered from a brief, but serious opiate relapse and pursued treatment with the total alkaloid iboga medicine, administered by a lineage Bwiti shaman. The medicine, along with the shaman’s skillful guidance, cleared his body of the physical and psychological addiction within days and offered teachings for a healthier and more meaningful path. The Love Dance will grace the cover of a memoir about iboga, Heart Medicine: A True Love Story, written by the artist’s wife, Elizabeth Bast, to be released late 2015 (information at ebast.net).
Love Land is also inspired by iboga. This piece is dedicated to the artist’s grandmother, Patricia Demeo, who passed away just before his journey to Switzerland. This is the artist’s rendition of her soul reaching the universal love, along with spirit animals that crossed his path during Bwiti ceremony: the king snake (not shown), a protector snake the eats poisonous snakes, and the butterfly, a symbol of transformation and rebirth.
Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey, is a critically acclaimed spray paint artist whose visionary murals and art exhibitions have appeared all over the globe. He was recently honored by Societe Perrier as being number three among the Top Ten U.S. Street Artists of 2014. He approaches his use of color as a form of therapy and visual medicine, and has been dubbed “the color shaman” by comrades and fans.
Chor Boogie is recognized for having achieved a profound level of technical and emotional virtuosity in the medium of spray paint. He was first nurtured by the world of street art and is primarily a self-taught artist. He draws inspiration from artists such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Klimt, Van Gogh, Dali along with his personal spray paint mentors Phase2, Vulcan, and Riff170 who were among the first notable creators in the street art and hip hop cultural movements. Through his dynamic range of artistic styles, Chor addresses issues of race, class, gender, neo-imperialism, corporate corruption, substance abuse, health care, drug policy reform, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Chor uses his voice as an artist and public figure to raise awareness about indigenous African wisdom traditions.
He has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007 where he has been an active member of the street art community and has painted several notable commissioned public murals including The Eyes of San Francisco, Purgatory, and Opium Horizons.