Exhibitions, News

HIP HOP YOU DON’T STOP

“Jayrock and Kendrick Lamar” from the exhibition “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”

House of Drago Pop

HIP HOP YOU DON'T STOP

Lawrence Watson “Roxanne Shanté” from the exhibition: “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”

Following in the footsteps of the song “9 Elements” by Krs-One, Drago has always sustained that the Hip Hop revolution has had repercussions all around the world both on esthetics and on lifestyle. The genre’s credibility and innovation have been key to its global expansion, transforming it into what I define as “mainstreaming of minorities”. Two examples of this dynamic can be found in the exhibitions I will be telling you about here.

Drago banging through the United States, hitting the big apple exhibition curated by Roger Gastman “Beyond the Streets” (on until August 25th 2019), giving a big up and many high fives to uber-zions that are part of the legendary line up: Futura, Shepard Fairey aka Obey, Faith 47, Chaz Bojorquez and Felipe Pantone – all of which have been published by Drago – amongst a huge roster of artists such as SWOON, VHILS, Takashi Murakami, Richard Hambleton, Keith Haring and Guerrilla Girls.

Paul Insect, detail from "Now We Are Far Away 2018" from the exhibition "Beyond the Streets"
LL Cool J, Roger Gastman and myself at the opening of the exhibition "Beyond the Streets" in New York
Invader in the exhibition "Beyond the Streets", New York

Roger Gastman did something that nobody has done until now: after erupting in Werkatz in Los Angeles, he bombed the hipster sanctuary in Williamsburg, New York. NY is special! It was an absolute pleasure to see such great photo Jedis involved, like Estevan Oriol, Glen E. Friedman, C.R. Stecyk III, Dash Snow, Jamel Shabazz, Martha Cooper all of which represent milestones in street photography.

Here I am (right) with photographer Estevan Oriol, who is showcasing in both exhibitions with his iconic image “L.A. Fingers. Los Angeles, 1995”, inside “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”

Damn this was dope! And shortly after having survived Williamsburgs’ army of hipsters, bloggers and Pride fans, I hit the bong like Godzilla Hong Kong playing with King Kong ping pong, City of Angels to sniff an exceptional exhibition “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop” by Vikki Tobak at the Annenberg Space for Photography (on until August 18th 2019).

Sophie Bramly “Futura and Keith Haring. New York, 1983” from the exhibition: “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”

This exhibition is the story of hip hop told through the contact sheets of famous hip hop photographers. Visiting the exhibition with “padrino” Estevan Oriol, who is of course in both exhibitions, it was an absolute pleasure to see so many enlightened photographers like Ricky Flores, Janette Beckmann, Glen E. Friedman, Ricky Powell, Jayson Keeling, Delphine E. Fawundu, Eric Johnson, Joe Conzo Jr, Martha Cooper, Angela Boatwright, Estevan Oriol, Jamel Shabazz and last but not least Lawrence Watson with his picture of the amazing -Have A Nice Day Asshole- (“Roxanne Shanté”).

Glen E. Freidman “Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” from the exhibition: “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”
Danny Hastings “Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu- Tang (36 Chambers) from the exhibition: “Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”

This exhibition showcases the crème de la crème of photos and extraordinary documentaries.

Photographers from both exhibitions are showcased in the Drago anthology “The Street is Watching: Where Street Knowledge Meets Photography”. A compilation created a few years ago where I tried to expand this hip hop vision into a global photo aesthetic.

So who’s bad?

 

By Paulo von Vacano

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