Born in Haiti in January of 1987, Elisee Makasi Siriwayo discovered his artistic talent at an early age; he started by drawing characters from his favorite comic strip “Mickey Mouse”. At the age of twelve, Makasi moved to Burlington with his parents and six siblings in September of 1999.
However, Makasi didn’t realize his true talent or at least didn’t take it too seriously until he started attending Edmunds Middle School, where he was introduced to Graffiti Art and Hip Hop culture as a whole. To Makasi, Hip Hop is not only a type of music, but a subculture on its own. The culture has its own language, which is expressed through the music known as rap, mediated to us through emcees. Breaking or break-dancing, scratching (also known as turntablism), and graffiti art are among the other artistic components of Hip Hop, as well as the key elements to Hip Hop culture.
Once introduced to Graffiti Art in Vermont, Makasi began to learn more about it. In doing some research, Makasi discovered Dondi, a pioneer of the Graffiti movement in the early sixties. After reading about him and seeing his work, Makasi was blown away by Dondi’s style.
Makasi went to Pratt, majoring in Graphic Design. He likes to incorporate his background in Graffiti into his work, always pushing and exploring the possibilities of his work. “I try staying very diverse with my work,” says Makasi. “I like to serve my audience with a good menu of eye candy,” he adds as he smiles. Looking at his work, one can understand what he’s talking about; from his colorful, grungy textured-filled illustrations, to his clean digital style.