The craziest of all my projects right now is this LIFEbeat Celebrity Art project. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into with this one. SO MUCH WORK. See I did these 15 portraits of big name rappers, back in early SEPTEMBER. I had confirmation from all these rappers’ PR people and agents that they were down. The bitch has been trying to get the paintings all signed. And believe me, these paintings have traveled. Usher’s painting went from NY to Cali to Toronto, back to NY. LL Cool J’s went to NY to Hawaii back to NY.The problem is trying to get all of them back by a certain date. The was is on the 12th, which was Tuesday, and if I had 3 more months to sort it out I would be fine..but physically couldn’t get every one of them back in time for the show. It was going to be three rows of five, but at show time I only had 8 back. Luckily it was an even number so I could do two solid rows of four.
I’d also like to thank the people who had to back out last minute or I couldn’t get pieces from due to time constraints and conflicting schedules: L. L. Cool J, and Angie Stone, Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys, DMX, Foxy Brown, Eve, Eminem, and Master P.
While I’m at it I have to give props to everyone’s P.R. people and friends for helping out with getting it all wrapped up and squared away without all your help, this project would have gone nowhere. I’d also like to give my condolences and respects to the families of L.L.Cool J and Angie Stone who both lost loved ones last week. I know how tough that can be, so hang in there.
Now that all the thanks are out of the way, let me break down the event as it went down.
Long time coming, THE SOUND OF ART celebrity art auction finally went down this past week at the Puck building in Manhattan. It was a great time, and I got to meet a lot of old school graf heads like C E S , and Seen (whom I talked to about the time he tagged the Hollywood Sign. . .this man is a legend). I also got to meet some other great industry folk, like the hip hop freestyle demigod SUPERNATURAL (if you liked the freestyling in 8 mile, you got to see this guy). Some celebs were there, actors, musicians etc . . .you know the drill.
All in all the live auction portion of the auction wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The work there was fantastic, the food was good, the atmosphere before the bidding was great, but the crowd was definitely not an art buying crowd. It was supposed to be full of Gallery Owners and Music Industry Art Collectors. It turned out to be an audience of mostly hang out people, which is cool for a party, but at $100 a head, you think someone would have wanted to buy some art.
Either way, my piece sold and raised a lot of money for AIDS awareness in the youth, and that’s what it’s all about. It sold for more then Marilyn Manson‘s piece, as well as a painting by Brandon Boyd from Incubus, so I can’t be too broken up about it. I am not sure if it sold for more or less than the giant photograph by actor Viggo Mortensen (the guy who plays Aragorn in Lord of the Rings). I also met a lot of other “Celebrity Artists” with work in the auction, so it was really a good time and a nice conclusion for all the effort I put into scrambling around to get all the musicians to sign their heads.
Shout to Miss Mar, and Knowledge Born from Elevation Suite Music Group for coming to the event to show me love.
Thanks also to Mike Tyson’s sister Jacqueline Rowe for the attempted hook-up with Eve. It was so last minute
The weekend after the art auction I went to the YRB (yellow rat bastard) spring fashion show at the China Club . I went, and it was dope. Props to David Ishay for a great new line of gear, complimentary drinks, and the VIP treatment for yours truly.
I’d also like to thank Keith from Gawsie Athletics for hooking me up with some great fashion wear for the event. Gawsie Athletics really makes some stylish comfy shit, props Keith.
I’ve been swamped. When it rains it pours, when you got something brewing, everyone is calling. When you got nothing going on. . .the phone never rings. Right now I am working like a madman on like 6 deadlines. Good thing they were all cool enough to give me time to make em all look kickass, and understand about this LIFEbeat auction.
I can’t go into detail about the projects because none of them will drop for a few months, but they are all really good. I do have to give a shout to Datwon Thomas Editor-in-Chief of King Magazine. Although this magazine doesn’t use illustration, he’s pushing to get me a two page spread in the joint. Which is really cool, cause it’s a first for them, you also gave me a great quote for my guest book, so keep it up man, you do good work.
(Originally Published November 2002)
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