Icons from the world of hip-hop music were the subject of an exhibition at MOCAD in Detroit, MI. Holy Hip-Hop! New Paintings by Alex Melamid were on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit from February 8 through April 20, 2008. I was able to visit this exhibit back when I was living in Detroit and I must say, I loved the work. The portraits had a Mone Lisa feel to them because of the medium used and the lighting quality displayed in the pieces, especially the 50 Cent piece.
"The life-size portraits of twelve icons of hip-hop culture capture the larger than life personas embodied by these men, who are among the wealthiest and most influential individuals of our time. Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Common, Kanye West, Reverend Run, Duke, Lil Jon, Don "Magic" Juan, Whoo Kid, Marc Ecko and Russell Simmons are portrayed by Melamid as they are in life serious, ambitious, powerful and compelling. The twelve, dressed in their everyday clothes, are rendered with Old Master style and quality, 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."