RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture Opens Feb. 8 at the National Portrait Gallery


LL Cool J, Erykah Badu, Common and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five are just a few of the hip hop artists featured in paintings and photographs in “RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture.” The exhibition opens at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Feb. 8 and continues through Oct. 26, 2008.

Hip hop, one of the most vibrant and popular musical movements in America since the 1970s, is featured in this exhibition as a cultural phenomenon that has had a broad impact on self-expression and portrayal. The exhibition features artists whose work has been influenced by hip hop and who work in the traditional portraiture mediums of photography and painting, as well as video, poetry, spoken word and graffiti. It is the first exhibition at the Smithsonian to examine the influence of the hip hop music and style on American culture.