|Left, artist and filmmaker, Rashaad Newsome: Ramis Barquet, New York|
(Story by Charlie Schultz for Art Info.com)
Rashaad Newsome is a self-styled "composer" of wildly diverse cultural chords. Before Newsome, medieval heraldry and hip-hop had never met; now they’re forever conjoined, thanks to "Status Symbols," a group of collages from last year. Heraldry is the centuries-old craft of emblazoning coats of arms. In Newsome’s words, "it’s a way of assembling symbols of power."
He has made music videos out of sampled bits of other videos and choreographed dances on a video-editing board. For "Shade Compositions" he hacked a Nintendo Wii controller and used it to record and remix the sounds of 25 women sighing, snapping, and groaning — in real time, on stage. In his solo exhibition, "Honorable Ordinaries," at New York’s Galeria Ramis Barquet from November 5 through December 18, Newsome presents something brand-new for him: an original score, no sampling. Inspired by both classical compositions and hip-hop beats, the piece will be the audio track for a video in which the artist plays a young man going through the process of becoming a herald. It will be screened within an altered 17th-century Neoclassical frame. Newsome’s music will also be the backing track for a live performance by Mad Decent recording artist Maluca Mala. Her stage will be a section of the street marked off by contemporary symbols of power: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches. "Hip-Hop Royalty" originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Modern Painters. For a complete list of articles from this issue available on ARTINFO, see Modern Painters' November 2010 Table of Contents.
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