RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture

WASHINGTON (RushPRNews)12/15/08-Since its inception in the 1970s, hip-hop arguably has been the most influential and popular musical form in America. Images of hip-hop stars are as pervasive as the music itself, and the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition “RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture” features the work of artists who have explored this phenomenon. The following images, taken from the exhibition, reveal how hip-hop culture informs the efforts of painter Kehinde Wiley, photographer David Scheinbaum, graffiti muralists Tim Conlon and Dave Hupp and filmmaker Jefferson Pinder, among many others. As poet Nikki Giovanni says: “Hip-hop is a train. We had just better reserve our ticket. … It will be a wonderful ride.”

The portrait on the top left corner represents Joseph “Biggie Grand” Saddler, better known as Grandmaster Flash, is a hip-hop performer and disc jockey; he is considered one of the pioneers of hip-hop DJing, cutting and mixing. In 2007, he and his band — collectively known as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five — became the first hip-hop/rap artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
By Kehinde Wiley, Oil on canvas, 2005, Collection Glenn Fuhrman, New York; © Kehinde Wiley

The Pharcyde is an alternative hip-hop group formed in Los Angeles, where the group’s members grew up. The group is best known for their hit singles “Drop,” “Passin’ Me By” and “Runnin’,” as well as their highly acclaimed album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde.  The Pharcyde, Sunshine Theater, Albuquerque, NM By David Scheinbaum Gelatin silver print, 2002 David Scheinbaum; © David Scheinbaum

To the right: The Pharcyde is an alternative hip-hop group formed in Los Angeles, where the group’s members grew up. The group is best known for their hit singles “Drop,” “Passin’ Me By” and “Runnin’,” as well as their highly acclaimed album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde.

The Pharcyde, Sunshine Theater, Albuquerque, NM
By David Scheinbaum
Gelatin silver print, 2002
David Scheinbaum; © David Scheinbaum