Check out the images I captured with University of Wisconsin Madison - First Wave scholar Gretchen Carvajal, after I was invited as a guest lecturer to UW-Madison's campus by professor Shawn Peters. While at UW-Madison I introduced the students to fine arts using Jay -Z's "Picasso Baby" lyrics as a catalysis to engage students. Groups of students were challenged to create their own Baby Picasso's based on the lyrical content of Picasso Baby. Can you identify the images from the lyrics?
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.
Picasso's introduction to the hip hop community during many of Jay Z's lyrics and most notably, his song, "Picasso Baby" is just the latest node in the constant cyclical nature of black artistry merged with mainstream art movements. . Nadeen Pennisi of Palm Beech State College identifies the specific inspirations for Picasso's first work of Cubism, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, as copper covered reliquary figures from the Bakota (a.k.a. Kota) people of African state of Gabon and masks from the Dan people from the Ivory Coast. If not for Picasso's introduction to African Art, would Cubism exist?