Hip-hop and contemporary art may seem like curious bedfellows but their link is deeper than Diddy's pockets. Art and hip-hop both draw from a variety of inspiration points and draw from different mediums, like sampling songs or mixed medium pieces. Both also involve commercialization of their craft and often their work reflects their materialism —rappers are now art collectors and artists are making works dedicated to rappers.
The most frequent new name drop is Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Neo-expressionist artist and graffiti writer. Basquiat rose to prominence at the same time as hip-hop in 1980’s New York City before he passed away from a drug overdose at only 27 years old. Many in the entertainment industry collect Basquiat’s art because they find inspiration in his work and personal history. It’s not coincidental that so many Basquiat references are popping up after the recent release of the documentary on his life and the love affair with the artist goes far beyond Swizz Beatz’s Reebok sneakers.
Written by Megan Ann Wilson (@shegotgame).
Check out The Complete Guide To Jean-Michel Basquiat References In Hip-Hop.