RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture

February 8, 2008 – October 26, 2008

LL Cool J, Kehinde Wiley, 2005
© Kehinde Wiley

National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, South

See on Map Floor Plan

This exhibition features images of hip hop stars by 7 artists who have explored the hip hop phenomenon. Since its inception in the 1970s, hip hop has been arguably the most influential and popular musical form in America. Its popularity extends beyond the urban centers where it was born and pervades youth culture throughout the world.

The 7 artists are: David Scheinbaum, who has taken photographs of hip hop artists since 2000 both in concert and off stage, including such celebrated groups as Public Enemy, Blackalicious, Phar Cyde, De La Soul, and Jurassic-5. Kehinde Wiley, who has done portraits of such hip hop artists as L. L. Cool J and Ice T, each based on a famous European or American painting from the 17th through 19th centuries. Nikki Giovanni, who wrote a poem, which is transcribed onto walls by artist Shinique Smith. Two graffiti artists based in D.C. who created 4 portrait murals for an installation, which also includes Jefferson Pinder's 3 video self-portraits.

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