|Fab 5 Freddy
Shortly after Hip-Hop’s birth in 1973, visionaries like Fab 5 Freddy were shaking up the art world with their Hip-Hop inspired canvas paintings and showcasing their works around the world.
The relationship between Hip-Hop and fine art was immortalized on film in 1982’s Hip-Hop classic “Wild Style.” So thanks to the efforts by artists like Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones, Futura, Blade, Dondi White and Zephyr, the link between Hip-Hop and fine art is stronger than ever.
In an article published earlier this year in The Guardian, Hip-Hop historian Jeff Chang analyzed the correlation between the two art forms during Art Basel in Miami.Rap powerhouses like Sean Combs, Swizz Beatz, 2 Chainz, OG Maco and others had a strong presence during the annual art festival last year. Diddy was even looking to cop his own authentic Picasso.
An art project online for two years strives to maintain the long-running relationship between the worlds, by pairing masters like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet, next to verses from well-known rappers.
The Fly Art Project launched its TUMBLR account in December of 2013. According to authors Gisella Velasco and Toni Potenciano, the engaging site was born out of “boredom, frustration, and the Internet.” The visual arts website took inspiration from other projects like Swoosh Art and Carter Family Portraits.
The Fly Art Project is a relatively simple, yet incredibly useful project. Fans of rappers like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Outkast and others get a crash course in art thanks to the curation of Hip-Hop lyrics, which are then united with a classic painting.
The paintings act like flashcards. It is much easier to remember the author and the painting itself if you are familiar with the rap lyrics overlaid on each of the masters paintings.
The Fly Art Project offers the artwork for sale if anyone is interested in purchasing. In the United States, rad.co offers prints and in the Philippines, The Twelfth House handles the printing for the limited edition releases.
Here are some standouts that caught our attention.