Graffiti has moved from dark back alleys to the front pages of respected travel magazines.

Once a sign of crime or protest, tagging a public space with spray paint has now become a celebrated art form. People are adding street art tours to their list of vacation must-sees, and Conde Nast Traveler listed 17 of the top street art cities in this piece from fall 2015. Travel + Leisure and National Geographic, among many others, have also covered street art as a growing attraction in several global destinations.


Huffington Post contributor John M. Egar highlighted San Diego as one city where public officials are embracing graffiti artists and commissioning their work to brighten otherwise rundown spaces around the city, saying:

“…some communities see graffiti as a new art form (although it really dates back to ancient Greece and Rome), that ought to be nurtured and seen as an expression of a vibrant culture and a forward thinking community.”

In fact, the San Diego street art program, the Graffiti Education & Mural Arts Program, taps into the talent of graffiti offenders and teaches them how to turn their skill into true art. In that city, as well as Los Angeles and others, local museums have even promoted and displayed works of street art; lending a nod of acceptance from the mainstream art world to the medium.

Celebrating live street art; fine art

At KAABOO, we are thrilled to be a part of the street art movement. It is a form of visceral performance art that translates well to a live-audience format. In the setting of the KAABOO “mix-perience,” artists create amid a backdrop of energetic live music while onlookers enjoy gourmet food, craft beer and, of course, the art.

Attendees have the chance to interact with street art muralists as they paint on 20×30-foot canvases in the middle of the event grounds, under the beautiful Del Mar sun.

In addition, our participants’ fine art is showcased in our permanent gallery space.

We connected with Amandalynn, artist and muralist, at a street mural festival in 2014, and she has since signed on as KAABOO’s art director. She and her team have curated the entire KAABOO space to ensure that even the fences and signs carry an artistic flair.

“We wanted it to be breathtaking,” said Amandalynn, “something the world had never seen.”


Artist brings powerful energy to KAABOO 2016

Amandalynn and her team are working to bring a number of international artists to this September’s KAABOO experience. Among those artists is the Belgian-born, Hong Kong-based Caratoes, an up-and-coming street artist whom Amandalynn met while working on a street art project in San Francisco.

“I really loved her energy,” said Amandalynn. “She’s a little bit younger and full of life. That’s the energy we wanted – people who are not recognized as much, but who are doing this amazing, powerful work.”

In an interview for Time Out Hong Kong, Caratoes talks about her work as an evolving journey of discovery as an artist. She said:

I started doing street art because I wanted to make people think different but in a happy direction… It’s more about changing something a little bit in the environment so that they see that anything is possible.”

Her work is often inspired by the space or the materials she is using, she tells interviewers. Her pieces range from intricate line drawings to mixed-media designs that incorporate string art. She calls her style elegant, but she doesn’t want to be hemmed in by labels and stays open to new inspiration for each new project.


In this House of Moloko piece, she talks about her approach, from client-commissioned interiors to personal street art murals, saying:

“If I’m working within an interior space, I need to sense the space, and think about the atmosphere I want to create, and design something specific for it. The clients also play a part whereas on the street it’s only me and it’s ‘of the moment.’ Every time I get a job I get so into it I feel like a different person. Out on the street I have to assume I don’t have a lot of time. It’s finite. It’s rougher and quicker.”

To see Caratoes in that “rougher and quicker” street art mode, make plans now to attend KAABOO 2016, Sept. 16-18, 2016, to witness her art in motion.