Kaї was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Son of a French-Tunisian father and Mexican American mother, he grew up surrounded by a unique blend of history, tradition, and celebrations. Not surprisingly, Kaї developed an appreciation for culture and art early on.
He found a medium for this interest at age 14, when he began to create original pieces throughout his sprawling hometown.
Several years and countless pieces later, Kaї accepted an offer to study at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and subsequently, L’ ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, France. There, he was inspired by the old masters, refined his technique, and developed a deeper understanding for the industry. After returning from university, Kaї imagined his signature “IF” (Imaginary Friend) character. He created IF with no discernible color, sex, or race. Kaї wanted the character to be warm, relatable, and impactful.
Kaї quickly incorporated IF into all his work, including original murals, paintings, sculptures, clothing and accessories, and stickers. The fan favorite has also become the inspiration for countless tattoos.
IF helps communicate countless, universal concepts and values in creative and thoughtful ways.
Kaї is a street artist who is recognized for his use of bright colors, signature IF (Imaginary Friend) character and ability to explore powerful messages and universal themes through any medium. His unique style, including broad use and appreciation for cement, and social commentary continue to set him apart from his contemporaries.
Love vs Money features a 15-foot IF being pulled in two directions by a heart-shaped balloon and a satchel full of money. The sculpture explores a choice many—if not most—people must make at some point in their lifetimes, which is whether to chase one’s long-term dreams, or pursue financial stability and a dependable paycheck. Kaї’s Love vs Money concept has become one of his most popular themes due to its universality.
Love vs. Money, 2017
Fiberglass and Metal
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Scarecrow, 2006 Tom Claassen
Untitled (Two Rabbits), 2004 Jonathan Clarke
Lifestyle, 2006 Niki de Saint Phalle
Adam & Eve, 1985-1989 Jim Dine
Big White Gloves, Big Four Wheels, 2008 Mark di Suvero
Aesop’s Fables, 1990 Jean-Michel Folon
Voyage, 1999 Laura Ford
Bird, 2007 Keith Haring
Untitled (Ringed Figure), 1987 Käi
Love Vs. Money, 2017 Fernand Léger
Femmes Au Perroquet, 1952 Aristide Maillol
La Riviere, 1938 – 1943 Ju Ming
Tai Chi Singlewhip, 1998 Igor Mitoraj
Eros Bendato, 1999 Julian Opie
Kiera & Julian Walking, 2002
Bruce & Sara Walking, 2007 Tom Otterness
Kindly Geppetto, 2001 Mimmo Paladino
Zenit, 1999 Martin Puryear
Untitled (Bench), 2008 George Rickey
Four Rectangles Oblique, 1979 Tony Smith
Night, 1962 Bernar Venet
2 Arcs X 4, 230.5 Degree, Arc X 5, 1999-2000 Erwin Wurm
Big Suit, 2010 Kan Yasuda
Door of Return, 2001 Jack Youngerman