Born in 1972, Marco Mantovani, aka KayOne, began painting in the street in 1988 at 15 years old. A pioneer in Milan, KayOne spent most of his time working as an art director and artist, painting pictures and walls in Italy and abroad.
He founded in 1991, together with Airone and Adstar, the first Italian fanzine dedicated to the writing of "Hip Hop Tribe Magazine", assembling photocopies and photographs, the fanzine marked the history of Italian writing as the first means of spreading culture at national and international level, becoming the official voice of the movement.
The KayOne's style has remained faithful to a more "old school" line compared to many contemporary currents who are closer to influences dictated by graphics and 3D. He keeps alive the spirit of the first pioneers of New Yorkers and that Hip Hop taste that in contemporary writing has gone disappearing. He studied maniacally the evolution of calligraphy, the basics of the style of each writer. He supervised the realization of many of the most important events linked to the Graffiti Writing culture. He has created abstract paintings close to the taste of the road.
On canvas he has tried to find a more gestural and instinctive form of painting, without abandoning the classic visual impact of Graffiti Writing, many of his recent successful exhibitions are: Triennale Museum, the 54th and 55th Venice Biennale and the Pirelli Skyscraper. In 2017 he published his book "Vecchia Scuola - Graffiti Writing in Milan" with the publisher Drago dedicated to the birth of this culture in his city between 1980 and the early 90s.