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After the abrupt ending of his 40-year collaboration with fellow Russian artist Vitaly Komar, the New York based, Russian-born artist Alex Melamid took some time off and shifted gears from creating Socialist Realist Pop Art to painting the portraits of hip-hop stars. The result, Holy Hip-Hop!, is a series of striking images that The New York Times compared to the court portraits of Velazquez. Melamid became enthralled with the hip-hop world with the help of his son, Dan Melamid, a music-video director for 50 Cent’s G-Unit label, who introduced him to hip-hop’s elite. The show, which ends this weekend, includes paintings of Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Common, Kanye West, Reverend Run, L.T. Hutton, Lil Jon, Don “Magic” Juan, DJ Whoo Kid, Marc Ecko, and Russell Simmons. You won’t find work like this on MTV.
Fri., March 13; Sat., March 14, 2009