A new exhibition has opened at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects, and it is this time centered around rap and hip hop, although the works of the different artists featured could not be more diverse.
‘It’s a Beautiful Day, I Guess’, a line taken from Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre’s ‘The Recipe’, is an exhibition featuring new work by Gregory Bojorquez, Tim Diet, Mark Drew, Michelle Guintu, Jeramee Haynie, Patrick Martinez, and Kevin Woodruff, and touches ‘on indirect references, such as the intangible essence of summer in Southern California’ – you know, like the song, ‘They come for (Women, weed and weather)— ‘the individual experiences each exhibiting artist has had with music, and the disparate communities music can bring together.’
I visited it on Saturday night, during the opening night, and it is a very colorful and playful exhibition, using diverse media, with a lot of cartoon and pop culture references, from Disney to some giant Peanuts characters saying for example ‘My Posse’s always ready’ (by Mark Drew). My favorite pieces had to be these big birthday cakes plastered with Tupac and Kendrick Lamar portraits, by Patrick Martinez …Martinez also makes funny neon compositions – and one was saying ‘Less Drake More Tupac’, which requires no other explanation.
The range of the work in display may reflect Los Angeles’ diversity itself, with Michelle Guintu’s bright paintings of essential rappers, or Gregory Bojorquez’s photographs straight from Crompton ‘showcasing the smiles and swagger of some of hip-hop’s biggest names’, or Tim Diet’s cartoons which are ‘a mash-up of pop references, cartoon characters, and thug life’…
‘I’m really excited about this show because the golden era of hip-hop, ’86-’94, was incredibly influential for me,’ wrote Shepard Fairey who was DJ-ing for the night as usual. ‘All the work in the show is very stylish and witty. I particularly love Mark Drew’s cassette paintings and this one in particular because ICE-T’s Power album was what inspired the use of the word “Posse” in my Andre the Giant Has a Posse sticker. The lyrics to the song Power go “I’m livin’ large as possible posse unstoppable… style topical, vividly optical”. The year was ’88 and other great hip-hop records that used the word “posse” were out… N.W.A., Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, but ICE-T was my specific inspiration.’
‘It’s a Beautiful Day, I Guess’ is presented in collaboration with Andres Guerrero, owner of Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, and will stay in view through August 15th, so check out these birthday cakes before they are gone.
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