Alexander Melamid is an American painter who was born and lived in the Soviet Union. Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Art has a brief little biography of Melamid, and the results are pretty surprising:
Melamid (b.1945) is long-known in the art world for his partnership with fellow Russian artist Vitaly Komar, with whom he founded the Soviet Realist Pop art movement, Sots Art, which satirized Soviet Socialist Realism.
This is pretty fascinating. Melamid is most well known as, essentially, a Soviety art rebel. He frequently faced criticism in the Soviet Union for his work which satirized and challenged conventional norms. In fact, some Melamid and Komar’s installations got them expelled from various art associations.
Now, Melamid (thanks to his son, a hip hop video producer) has turned his eye to painting the hip hop scene. The picture you see here is Melamid’s version of the Reverend Run and is a pretty amazing job.
His focus was on drawing the individuals in the style of the old masters, as he says “”I thought it would be interesting to paint the men of hip-hop using the traditional European style I have been perfecting for 40 years.””
You can see more of his paintings here.
[Source: LA Times]