Ekundayo Reid was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1983 where he lived with his parents until their split; Ekundayo was 5. Ekundayo’s father snuck him out of the state without his mother’s knowledge, and for seven years Ekundayo and his father effectively went “on the run”.
The life on the run ended in 1994 when his father moved to California with Ekundayo’s sister because his father was dying from cancer. After his father lost his battle with lung cancer in early 1995 the 11-year old Ekundayo eventually settled with his sister. It was during this period of time that a chance discovery of his uncle’s graf black book – his uncle was part of the LA-based graf crew called CHB – was to kickstart his art career. Meanwhile in her desperate need to find her son, Ekundayo’s mother helped start Hawaii’s first clearinghouse for missing children eventually Ekundayo went back to Hawaii to live with his mother.
Ekundayo went back to school though he dropped out after completing his foundation courses in order to create his own path in the fine art world. Ekundayo creates incredibly detailed characters, he combines both subversive graffiti aesthetics in combination with art-historical erudition using acrylic, gouache, watercolor, ink and various carving techniques.
Ekundayo’s work expresses the troubled and burdened visions of humanity and how those struggles and burdens can either inspire us to change in a constructive way or weigh us down by our own inability to change.