Opening: Friday, June 7 from 7pm to 11pm
Read Sayyah Hart-Bey’s Interview with Aniekan Udofia by clicking here.
It Was Written will be on view through June 30, 2013.
For It Was Written, opening June 7, 7 – 11pm, DC street artists and muralists HKS 181 and Aniekan Udofia explore the intersection of hip hop and storytelling. Over time, hip hop’s guiding principle of chronicling the culture of urban Americans has been replaced by an egocentric bravado rooted in fantasy. The work in It Was Written is born out of Aniekan and HKS 181’s desire to document the importance of the commonly shared narrative to hip hop music.
The paintings depict literal and conceptual interpretations of classic and underground songs. In response to A Tribe Called Quest’s Buggin’ Out, Aniekan borrows from the opening lyric, “Microphone check one, two what is this,” to create pop art featuring a mic, signing hands and a child scratching his head. For The Last Emperor’s song Meditation, HKS 181 captures the private moment of a beatific mother holding a child.
Aniekan says, “HKS and I are both from foreign backgrounds, El Salvador and Nigeria, but we share the same interest in the history and direction of American hip hop music. The collaboration feels like it was meant to be. That’s why we titled the show after the Nas album It Was Written.”
About Aniekan Udofia
The DC-based, Nigerian artist Aniekan Udofia is known for his Fredrick Douglas Mural in Anacostia as well as his Duke Ellington and Ben’s Chili Bowl murals on the U Street Corridor. Aniekan has participated in live painting events sponsored by the likes of Red Bull, Heineken, Honda, Current TV, Timberland and Adidas. He has garnered national attention with his caricatures and illustrations for urban publications XXL, Vibe, Rime, Elemental, DC Pulse, Frank 151 and The Source.
About HKS 181
The DC-based, El Salvadorian artist HKS 181 has been a part of exhibitions at The Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, Joan Hisaoka Art Gallery, and The Corcoran College of Art and Design’s Gallery 31. His murals are on view in the Columbia Heights, Cardozo and Ivy City neighborhoods in Washington, DC and The Franklin and Howard Street Corridor in Baltimore, MD. In 2012, the artist created a 200-foot mural in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia as part of a cultural exchange program in partnership with the United States Embassy in Bolivia.
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