Russian-born American painter Alexander Melamid is long-known in the art world for his partnership with fellow Russian artist Vitaly Komar, with whom he founded the Soviet Realist Pop art movement, Sots Art, which satirized Soviet Socialist Realism.
The life-size portraits of twelve icons of hip-hop culture capture the larger than life persona’s 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.
Alex Melamid was introduced to his subjects by his son, Dan "Dan the Man" Melamid, a music video director working in the hip-hop industry.
Holy Hip-Hop! New Paintings by Alex Melamid will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) from February 8 through April 20, 2008. MOCAD is located at 4454 Woodward Avenue at Garfield Street and is open Wednesday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to the museum is free, unless otherwise indicated.