En Foco presents Wildstyle: Iconic Fashion From Gen-X to Gen-Z, an exhibition illustrating the powerful influence of Hip Hop culture and all its expressive forms. Featured artists include Anthony Artis, Alex Bershaw, Koren Martin, Jamel Shabazz, Coreen Simpson, and Hidemi Tagaki. Curated by Tarisse Iriarte, and Kay Hickman.
WildStyle: Iconic Hip Hop Fashion Gen X to Gen Z illustrates the powerful influence of Hip Hop culture and all its expressive forms. “Wildstyle” was pioneered by the Mcs, B-boys/B-girls, DJs, and innovators to create a distinctive blueprint of innovative fashion and sentiments of liberation. From Members Only leather jackets coupled with doorknocker earrings, to the flyest hairdos and fresh cuts to Starter jackets, suede Pumas, African Medallions, Kangols, and Adidas tracksuits, to an era of colorful wigs, Girbaud jeans and crop tops with logo tees and Yankee fitted caps… In the early 2000s, we were introduced to shiny suits coupled with uptowns.
Hip-hop’s exemplary swag and culture generated global phenomena. The selected works in this exhibition exemplify this artistic expression through a series of photographic images and media. Featuring images of Hip-Hop icons like Biz Markie, Slick Rick, and Method Man, as well as everyday people, illustrating the culture and celebrating the undisputed birthplace of Hip-Hop, The Bronx. With a focus on the intersection of fashion and Hip-Hop, featured works will span the early 80s to the present day and traverse the multilayered culture that is Hip-Hop.
Anthony Artis uses the art of storytelling to forge a path documenting the music scene and has worked with Apollo Theatre, NYC Blue Note Jazz, and other notable artists and brands. Alex Bershaw, a documentary and portrait photographer explores the human experience while documenting events and style. Koren Martin employs a mixture of candid portraiture and immersive documentary photography. She has a passion for highlighting the beauty and strength of the African Diaspora.
Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. His iconic street-style photographs date back to 1980. Giving a glimpse into an era of Black communities at a time of much turmoil. Coreen Simpson is best known for her striking and fashionable portraits of African-American nightlife and B-boys and girls giving insight to the early 1980’s. Hidemi Takagi works with various immigrant and underserved communities usually working in series-based works. Works highlighted here are from her series The Barbershops and Identities.
Hip-hop has served as a vehicle of self-expression, creating sub-cultures like DJing, dancing, graffiti, and Emceeing. From its inception and in its five decades of existence, it has grown from a grassroots movement to the global phenomenon that it is today. With the help of the artists in this exhibition, we hope to commemorate the movement that is Hip-Hop as an ode to the retrospective of Hip-Hop’s flavorful ingenuity that has transcended the ages from GenX to GenZ.
En Foco is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, The Mellon Foundation, BronxCare Health System, The Joy of Giving Something, Inc., New York Community Trust Mosaic Network & Fund, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Aguado-Pavlick Arts Fund.