Hip Hop Art

Here is an accurate review –

The exhibit was either at the National Portrait Gallery, or at the Museum of American Art.

It is either still there, or it is not.

It was called “Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture”.

And (and this is extraordinary), in the museum’s hallways, the exhibit praises graffiti!!!!!  Yes, the same grafitti that cities complain about, arrest people for, and spend millions of dollars to cover.  Tim Condon and Dave Hupp, the exhibit says, are graffiti artists from the street of Philadelphia and New York, experts in color and lettering techniques, and they are emcees and djs to boot.

Along with large photos and oils of such luminaries as Blackolicious, Pharcyde, and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and paintings of contemporary hip hop artists in 17th through 19th century fashion clothing, and a weird three dimensional collage in a room where there is a Nikki Giovanni poem called “It’s Not a Just Situation”.

What a strange topic for an exhibit.  The art is OK, as art goes – I don’t think there is anything immortal on display.  The poem by Giovanni is very nice.


2 thoughts on “Hip Hop Art

  1. Mr. H,
    If 60’s poster art is legit (I say it is), modern graffiti art is, too. To the extent that it values form over function (i.e. you can’t read it), to the extent it’s 3D and brilliantly colored, to the extent that it’s not simply some vandal’s initials.
    Not strange, Mr. H…
    Matt Drudge says hello.

  2. I concur with mr bates. Hip Hop art/graffiti art/street art are amazing art forms. They were originally just created on the streets, in response to social issues, political issues and the like but are increasingly getting more and more ‘legitimate’ attention from the art world. I’ve always been really drawn to the medium because I feel it’s the closest visual art form to theater. It’s not created for permanence but to effect an audience and then live on in their minds. http://www.woostercollective.com is a great site dedicated to street art, it’s not all ‘hip hop’ but in the same vein.

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