Home Arts & Culture Hip-hop and contemporary art collide in new exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Hip-hop and contemporary art collide in new exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum

by cashonbank.com
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CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Hip-hop and contemporary art have collided at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

“The biggest misconception of hip-hop is that it’s just rap music, and that’s the only thing to it. If you think of it that way, you’re missing out on so much,” said guest curator Jason Rawls, EDD.

“The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century” coincides with the 50th anniversary of hip hop.

“We’re in this time where there’s a lot of curiosity around the culture of hip hop, and so, actually, having an exhibit like this is important,” said Rawls.

The exhibition includes works like a piece made out of Timberland boots, something rappers popularized as “streetwear” in the 90s. There’s a painting made using real Coogi sweaters, a brand hip-hop legend Biggie Smalls was known to frequently wear. There’s even a hat that broke the Internet when singer-songwriter and hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams wore it to the 2014 Grammys.

“So, this exhibit started in Baltimore and then went to St. Louis, so it’s been traveling. Each city adds their own piece to it,” said Rawls.

That special piece here in Cincinnati is a tribute to the Scribble Jam, a now legendary hip-hop festival in the Queen City that ran from 1996 to 2008.

“It became something that became a festival, and they added on emceeing, break dancing, DJ’ing—until Scribble Jam showed you and demonstrated hip hop culture,” said Rawls.

Alexandria Leurk was one of the first people to experience the Cincinnati version of the exhibition.

“Just seeing all the different layers and how they’ve been organized throughout the exhibition is just a really neat way to have it organized. So, I understand it, and I’m also on a journey throughout the exhibit,” said Leurk.

For Rawls and his team, that kind of glowing review is like “the perfect verse over a tight beat.”

“Here’s the reaction I love the most: ‘I’m going to tell some friends and bring them out.’ That’s what we want,” said Rawls.

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