Thursday, February 16, 2012


About Prime and Estria

Kanaka Maoli graffiti Writers Prime and Estria have been creating public art in Hawai‘i spaces and beyond, since the 1980s. They use the medium of public art as a way to preserve the stories and culture of their Kanaka Maoli heritage, so that as a people, the Kanaka Maoli can learn from the past to shape the future. Prime and Estria hope to engage more artists in this movement of creating awareness about the history, culture, and issues facing Kanaka Maoli and their land and ocean today. They also hope to serve as an inspiration for future artists in the same way that Herb Kawainui Kāne inspired Prime and Estria, and their generation.

Prime and Estria were among the very first generation of graffiti writers on O‘ahu. Beginning in 1983, Prime began painting hip-hop style graffiti pieces and characters with a crew called Design Masters. He retired in the late ‘80s to raise a family, and came back to the Writing culture in 2007 with a vengeance. Estria began Writing in 1984. Two years later he moved to San Francisco and made a name for himself in the golden age of the Bay Area scene. In 2007 Susan Farrell of introduced Prime and Estria  and thus began a journey of wonder, fun, and especially growth and transformation.


Note: the historical information contained herein may not be completely accurate. Hawaiian history is mostly oral, and much of the research was conducted online. We also have admittedly been poor at documenting our references. Aloha and apologies to those whose work has informed ours, and have not been credited here.

Mahalo nui loa to Susan Farrell for introducing us! Many thanks to Trish Tolentino for her help with the writing. Special mahalo to those who helped us along the way: Kahu Kamana‘o, Vernon Viernes, Brook Kapukuniahi Parker, Jen and Auli‘i, Aunty Lei, Aunty Vicky Holt Takamine, Aunty Terry, Palani Vaughan, and all our supporters. Thank you to the 808 Urban crew and the EV crew for the support. Most importantly, mahalo nui to our families and friends, who hardly get to see us while we're painting.

For more of our work, visit and We are both on Twitter and Instagram as @808urban and @estria.

Mahalo for visiting!

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