Sunday, April 5, 2015

HIP-HOP REVOLUTION Hits The Museum of the City of New York!

Know your history!  Three of the most legendary photographers that documented the hip-hop scene beginning in the early 1980's are featured in a new exhibit at The Museum of the City of New York that opened last week.  Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper, showcase the historic early days of hip-hop culture and music rooted in New York and how it evolved towards the worldwide phenomenon it is today.  It's an exhibit for every age group that will either take you back in time or introduce you to the musicians who brought us the real "hip-hop revolution."

From left to right, photos by Martha Cooper (1983), Joe Conzo (1981) 
and Janette Beckman (1987)
Another stellar exhibit. I've blogged a good bit throughout 2014 on the Museum's critically acclaimed City As Canvas exhibit and special events, I have a feeling this will continue as they have a series of special lectures and events planned for another dynamic showcase curated by Sean Cocoran.

Bringing together for the first time the work of three of the most renowned photographers of the hip-hop scene, the exhibition shows the birth of a new cultural movement of music, dance, fashion and style as it quickly and dramatically swept from its grassroots origins into an expansive commercial industry.   Each photographer captures a different look at the scene, each in their own light with over 100 historical photos taken between 1977 and 1990.  Beckman, Conzo, and Cooper, bring us these photos from the pioneering days in the boroughs of New York through its emergence into mainstream popular culture worldwide.  You can read more on each photographer on the Museum's site here:  

Have a look at opening night...

Curator, Sean Cocoran (and his freshly painted jacket by graffiti masters.) Below; the mash up collaborations from Beckman and graffiti artists - and to see even more scroll down...
SHARP in front of his mash-up artwork collaboration with Beckman
From the MCNY press release: "Hip-hop culture, incorporating such elements as DJ-ing, MC-ing (rapping), and breaking (dancing), was born on the streets of New York City in the 1970s, largely in the Bronx and Manhattan, and grew to have a global impact on popular culture that continues to the present day. The exhibition showcases the experiences of each photographer during these seminal years, as DJs, MCs, and B-boys and B-girls (breakdancers) were innovating, and developing new forms of self-expression. The work of these photographers—featuring early figures such as Afrika Bambaata, Kool Herc, and Cold Crush Brothers, breakers such as Rock Steady Crew and the Dynamic Rockers, and acts such as Run DMC and the Beastie Boys—form a broad survey of a movement that is indelibly linked to New York City and still has a resounding influence today."
Cocoran and Cooper - jackets!
More mash-ups....

Martha Cooper, jacket 1982!
The exhibit will run through September 13, 2015 but don't wait, you will want to go back more than once. MCNY is located at 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, visit for lectures and special events.

The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City. It serves the people of New York and visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.