Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Graffiti Rhapsody Art Show

Graffiti Rhapsody was the infused sight and sounds of b-boy, soul and funk. This was an opportunity for local artists to come out and showcase their talent. Whether it was art pieces or musical sounds....this was the place to be to experience an array of artistic expression.

I had the chance to meet a young artist that has inspired me to continue to inspire others. I had no idea that he was even in the show but as I was doing my rounds and viewing all of the other artists displays, I noticed this familiar name - Heron Gibran.
I first saw his work when myself and a friend took a visit to the Artomatic exhibits down by the Navy Yard. What was funny about even viewing his work was that we were ACTUALLY on our way down the stairs attempting to exit, but me being me, I couldn't go down one flight of stairs without looking thru the doors to see more of exhibits. And for some reason, when we got to his floor I HAD to go in and his exhibit was the first and ONLY one I viewed on that particular floor. His work was very uplifting to me. Not only was his creativity extra authentic, but his artistic abilities varied from illustration to hip hop to art education. Let's just say that I left there talking about Heron Gibran as if he was the best thing out of the artsy crowd since slice bread. So you can imagine how I felt when I found out that my work was being exhibited in the same art show as his. WOWZERS! Immediately I ran over to my homegirl who was with me at Artomatic and rushed her over to see the guy who had my attention at artomatic. Afterwards, I sought him out to let him no how much I appreciated his work and of course, to get a photo with him. Check it out:
And here is a close up of his self portrait which was created in 1999, along with the other pieces that he exhibited:
I also had the opportunity to exhibit some of my work as well, which was created for the sole purpose of this show so I titled it Graffiti Rhapsody...with a little skateboard twist. FYI, I LOVE capturing skaters doing their thing.  The first piece below is my absolute favorite. Not because I dedicated a full day to seeking out great graffiti art work but because of the messages that I found in them. If you look closely at the middle top graffiti art work it reads: Yes We Did....Obama 44. When I saw it, I was amazed and even more amazed when I actually had the chance to meet the young gentleman that created this piece. Unfortunately, due to him wanting to keep his identity a secret (for obvious reasons), I am not able to place a photo of the man behind the work.  But take it from me, he's dope and very talented. 
The other graffiti tag that stood out to me was at the bottom: Rise. I love that message. To me it meant Rise above it all....all the negativity surrounding you, make sure you Rise above it. 

All of the graffiti tags that I captured seemed to have some sort of message embedded in them. Take the one directly above: I love the question: How was your day? and the answer was "Good actually". It was weird seeing a question as graffiti art but it made me smile and think of how righteous my day at that particular moment.  And the tag to the far right of the bottom which says 'Don't 4get 2 Breathe'. When I saw that, it helped me to breathe in the positivity and breathe out the negativity. And although it's not the most creative graffiti tag I have seen, it was the most relevant at the time.  I personally had hella fun photographing this project and I'm constantly thinking of new ways to reinvent the use of graffiti.  Here's the first:

(All photos taken by me, Larita "Rita" Massey are copyrighted so please don't steal my passion) that I got that out of the way, lets move on to the rest of the show. Here are the photos of others' art work that was also exhibited in the show. As you can tell by the name of the title: Graffiti Rhapsody, there was A LOT of groovy graffiti artwork there. Check out the graffiti mural that was live....

Unfortunately, the rain put a damper on the graffiti mural and due to one of the graffiti artist wearing many hats for the show (body artist and fellow exhibitor), I don't believe he was able to finish.
There was one other artist exhibiting work that I was extraordinary in my eyes. He even had a piece there that was in 3-D which was sooooo psychedelic. I didn't get a chance to actually get a close up of it, but believe me, it was amazing. The artist's name is David, who was also the body paint artist and one of the graffiti artist. Here's his work:

Truss was also one of the artist exhibiting work, as well as one of the body paint artist. Here's what he exhibited:
Baltimore was also in the building with the great Moe of Moe's Art and Design who was the featured artist of the Renovatio Soul Art Expo in May of this year.
(The man playing the trumpet is my favorite....reminds me of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album.)

Now on to the second portion of the show.....the open mic session in which a friend and I contemplated for about 5 minutes of doing a tag team cypher together but we declined and instead we watched others rip it and we ripped it off stage. We are shy I guess you can say. But these dope cats weren't and they spit fiyah on the mic.
The first time I saw and heard this dude freestyle was at Open Mic at Pure and he ripped it.
His name is Swayz, like one of my favorite rap groups from malibu (Shwayze).
The next up to bat was this cool cat that goes by the name of Poc...
Her lyrics were pure elevated fiyah..
Next up to bat was none other than the Artist herself: TT the Artist.

This young lady is destined for greatness in all that she does. She's an artist in every since of the, graphics, painter, and I'm sure much much more.
Overall, the entire show was a sight to see. So much color and different artistic approaches. It was very gratifying and inspiring to me and I'm sure others of liked minds. I was especially thrilled that I was able to meet and speak with an artist that inspired me when I viewed his work - Heron Gibran.
And many many thanks to Shaina Webb for producing such a wonderful show. You are definitely appreciated and I know that in the future all of your hard work will pay off. Keep keeping on.
Thanks to all who came out to support your local artist. If you don't, who will?

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