A Visual History of Hip Hop - Los Angeles' New Art Installation

A man displays a T-shirt tribute to rapper Biggie

The Annenberg Space for Photography is celebrating the emergence of photographic appreciation specifically within the Hip Hop community. Through new multiple exhibitions produced by Contact High, they are providing “an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, as told through their most intimate diaries: their unedited contact sheets.” This artistic concept was “curated by Vikki Tobak” through a collaborative effort with “creative direction by Fab 5 Freddy.” Their love for Hip Hop and it’s historical artifacts are made very apparent through the production of this summer-long art installation which is now open until August 18th.

The photographic gallery consists of “nearly 140 works from 60 photographers. Guests will also see over 75 original and unedited contact sheets—from Barron Claiborne’s iconic Notorious B.I.G. portraits and early images of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West as they first took to the scene, to Janette Beckman’s defining photos of Salt-N-Pepa, and Jamel Shabazz and Gordon Parks documenting hip-hop culture” as well. The vast variety of photographic materials being exhibited through Contact High are also regulated by the Annenberg Foundation which is allowing this type of event to be the first of its kind in their very own photo-space.

The Annenberg Foundation also helped produce “an exclusive new, documentary short film” with the visual direction of “Radical Media – featuring a selection of CONTACT HIGH’s photographers at work and in conversation, including Barron Claiborne, Brian “B+” Cross, Eric Coleman, Estevan Oriol, Jorge Peniche, Jamel Shabazz, Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, Jack McKain, Dana Scruggs, and Danny Clinch.” The curation of this event will also feature exclusive and “rare videos, memorabilia, and music” that were originally created by the artists exhibited within the gallery. Contact High is spreading awareness when it comes to rejuvenating 90’s Hip Hop and is preventing it from being a dying medium of art through the legacy they are starting at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

Photo Credit - Getty Images

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