Published: February 5, 2008
Icons from the world of hip-hop music will be the subject of an exhibition of portraits by Russian-born American painter Alexander Melamid, the outspoken artist who once had his work dismantled and bulldozed by the Soviet government. “Holy Hip-Hop!: New Paintings by Alex Melamid” will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) February 8⁁pril 20.
“Holy Hip-Hop!” marks the first solo show for Melamid, who is world-famous for his collaborative partnership with fellow Russian-born artist Vitaly Komar. A fully-illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition.
The life-size portraits of 12 icons of hip-hop culture capture the larger than life personas embodied by these men †Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Common, Kanye West, Reverend Run, Easy Mo Bee, MC Duke, Don “Magic” Juan, Lil Jon, DJ Whoo Kid, Marc Ecko and Russell Simmons are portrayed by Melamid as they are in life †serious, ambitious, powerful and compelling.
The 12, dressed in their everyday clothes, are rendered with an Old Master style, providing a provocative visual context and an association with masterpieces of the past. In these paintings, Melamid explores art, power and commodity, as well as displaying the wit that has long elevated his work.
The museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is at 4454 Woodward Avenue. For more information, 313-832-6622 or www.mocadetroit.org .
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