Grammy winner Kanye West is outfitted in some of the trappings of his times in a portrait by Alexander Melamid. It’s part of the “Holy Hip-Hop!” exhibition of Melamid works that is scheduled from Sept. 12 to Nov. 1 at the Forum Gallery in Los Angeles. Melamid formerly was renowned as a conceptual art rebel in Soviet Russia.
Rapper Snoop Dogg is bathed in light in a way that conjures paintings by the Old Masters. Artist Melamid was introduced to hip-hop royalty by his son, Dan, a music video director. The elder Melamid photographed and drew a dozen of the business’ ranking figures, providing the basis for a series of paintings. (Forum Gallery)
Russell Simmons exudes the relaxed authority of a mogul and entrepreneur. Holy Hip-Hop! is the result of artist Melamids close study of and conversations with such titans of pop music. (Forum Gallery)
Reverend Run, a hip-hop pioneer as a member of Run-DMC and then a reality television figure, is captured by Melamid as he goes about his business. (Forum Gallery)
Melamid’s rendering of Common, described in The Times as a forward-looking hip-hop tastemaker. (Forum Gallery)