This Kendrick Lamar exhibition is not to be missed
A powerful tribute
Kendrick Lamar is easily one of the most influential musicians of our time. Garnering awareness about issues close to his heart through his music, his work is deeply rooted in the African American narrative, in particular, protests about the racism, injustice and violence that continue to plague society.
And the Compton-born rapper's latest album DAMN. is no different; with political messages as rampant as the praise he received for the album itself - seven Grammy nominations to be exact.
Earlier this year, Lamar dropped the music video for "ELEMENT" and the visual accompaniments were as powerful as the music. Lamar was heavily inspired by the extraordinary work of iconic photographer Gordon Parks who was an activist, humanitarian and core figure in the American's civil rights movement. He fought against oppression and injustice through making films, composing music and writing books, which sought to highlight the divisions in society.
Lamar directly referenced a number of Parks' images that explore the social justice issues affecting the lives of African Americans in the groundbreaking clip. The rapper recreated some of Parks' most powerful photographs, including the 1963 photo Boy With Junebug; Untitled, from from Parks' "Segregation Stories" series; Ethel Sharrieff, from his "The White Man's Day Is Almost Over" photo essay about black Muslims; and photos from Parks' 1948 "Harlem Gang Leader" series.
And now the Gordon Parks Foundation has announced it will be hosting an exhibition to showcase the photographs referenced in the video, in an attempt to bring the powerful messaging in both the photos and the music video to the forefront yet again.
Gordon Parks Foundation Executive Director Peter Kunhardt said that Parks, who passed away in 2006, "is continuing to have a great impact on young people - and particularly on artists like Kendrick who, use the power of imagery to examine issues related to social justice and race in our country". Kunhardt believes that Lamar "has helped to call attention to one of the most important artists of our time".
Swizz Beatz, a friend of Lamar's and patron of the foundation, added that it was "a prime example of how contemporary change makers - artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers - can borrow from the greats of the past who were also working towards social change."
The "ELEMENT" exhibition will be on display at the Gordon Parks Foundation in Plesantville, New York, from December 1 to February 10.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection