I had a invite to a cool HipHop & Comics event at contemporary art gallery Wall Works NY in the Bronx. Now you know this is right up my alley so I had to come through and represent.
The HipHop And Comics art gallery was curated by Patrick Reed and it showcases the works and creators who have combined the elements of comics and HipHop cultures in their art. From the classic early works to the next generation of artist that continue to push the craft forward.
Artwork by HipHop and Comic pioneers/legends, Eric Orr and Andre Leroy Davis were on display at the event, I also saw my dude N.Steven Harris in the building. He had some of his pieces on display too. Check out the gallery below to see what you missed! It was a dope event!
Notes from the Curator:
Comics and comic culture have been a notable influence on Hip-Hop culture
since its earliest days, as graffiti writers, dancers, DJs and MCs assumed largerthan-life
alter-egos and artists worked to create the most colorful and thrilling
images imaginable, drawing inspiration from the media that excited them:
comics, Saturday morning cartoons, kung fu and action movies, fantasy and
science fiction. It took comics bit longer to repay the attention, but once the “rap”
and “breakdance” craze hit in the mid-80s, it was open season on Hip-Hop—
publishers tried to connect with their audience by incorporating these new forms
into their stories, and characters suddenly became rappers, DJs and B-Boys,
while graffiti and murals appeared in the background of pivotal scenes.
In the years since, the two cultures have become ever more closely entwined,
even as they gained mainstream acceptance and critical respect—comics
became not just “cool”, but ubiquitous, acclaimed for artistry while also spawning
blockbuster film series and innumerable adaptations in other media. Likewise,
Hip-Hop has gone from the underground to the inescapable, the sounds and
styles of the culture infiltrating every aspect of modern media.
It makes sense that comics and Hi-Hop would share this kinship, as both are
hybrid forms, built on the combination of elements: words and pictures, beats and
rhymes, empty spaces and paint, dance and martial arts and cartoons and
fashion and nearly everything else get thrown into the mix, and emerge as
something totally unique and new.
And beyond that, both cultures are often misunderstood and misrepresents,
boiled down to their single, most visible aspect, without understanding all the
elements that encompass. Hip-Hop isn’t just tap music; its street art, DJ-ing,
dance, design, style, attitude. Its records and images and stories and feelings.
Likewise, the world of comics is hardly just comic books: its also comic strips,
anime, cartoons, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, horror, video games and a million other
things that spark and inspire the imagination.
This is a small sampling of the works and creators who have combined these two
cultures in their work, and the media that has ensued over the past five decades
and those that continue to push it forward, on and on, ‘til the break of dawn and
– Patrick A. Reed