Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey, is a critically acclaimed spray paint artist. He was recently honored by Société Perrier as being number three among the Top Ten U.S. Street Artists. His visionary murals and art exhibitions have appeared all over the globe including venues such as the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the Smithsonian, Museum of Public Arts in Baton Rouge, Museum of Art Puerto Rico, the LA Art Fair, Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, Museum of Man in San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, Children’s Museum in San Diego, Syracuse University Museum, and the Vision Arts Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
In October, 2010 Chor Boogie’s “The Eyes of the Berlin Wall”, sold for 500,000 euro making history for the street art genre. His politically charged series “The Divided States of America,” commissioned by the entrepreneur Nirmal Mulye, was exhibited in 2012 in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention at the Elder Gallery. Clients include Google, Playboy, the Ritz Carlton, MTV Arabia, Anthony Robbins, Heineken, the Blackstone Group, Zazzle.com, Rock the Bells, and the TJ Martell Foundation. His portraits have been commissioned by celebrities such as Hugh Hefner, Jay Z, the artist formerly known as Prince, Lady Sovereign, Wu-Tang Clan, Rage Against the Machine, and N.W.A.
Chor Boogie is recognized for having achieved a groundbreaking level of technical and emotional virtuosity in the medium of spray paint. 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. 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 early 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. 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, iboga. He then traveled to Africa to receive full initiation into his shaman’s Bwiti tribe and undergo the traditional Bwiti men’s Rite of Passage. Chor integrates traditional African imagery and elements of his iboga visions in select contemporary works, visually transmitting the very heart of the medicine and the Bwiti culture of healing.
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.”
“With his innovative techniques and spiritual color philosophies, Chor Boogie is the king.”
– San Francisco Bay Guardian
“If you ever visited or live in the Bay Area, you’ve seen at least one of Chor Boogie’s striking murals. Boogie’s work ends up looking more like fine art, which is pretty impressive considering he paints solely in aerosol.”
– Juxtapoz Magazine
“Internationally acclaimed virtuoso of spray-paint Chor Boogie presents his solo show: Romanticism, where imagination and emotion meet the healing power of color therapy. Having emerged, in part, from the world of ‘Graffiti Art,’ Chor profoundly expounds on the genre in style, technique, form, composition, and conceptual underpinnings, as he can no longer be simply categorized as such. Viewers often find it nearly unbelievable that his masterful works are created almost solely from spray paint.”
– NBC News
“Chor Boogie is taking spray painting to new heights in the art world.”
– DUB Magazine
“Take Chor Boogie’s mural ‘The Color Therapy of Perception,’ a riotously vibrant painting of a pair of eyes stretching along Market Street near downtown. It has the visual power of a kaleidoscope, and its subject matter is an evocation of the author and activist Jane Jacob’s pronouncement on urban safety: ‘There must be eyes upon the street.’”
– The New York Times
“LA Art Show is the first major art fair to host a street art exhibition featuring live performances by artists Retna, Mear One, Chor Boogie, and El Mac, launching street art into the fine art mainstream.”
– LA Art Show