Friday, January 29, 2016 - Saturday, March 26, 2016


Projects+gallery presents HAUTE HIP-HOP, an exhibition that celebrates the rise of the hip-hop phenomenon and its preeminent cultural influence. Featured artists include Jermaine Clark, Joe Conzo, Dolce & Gabbana, Fantich & Young, Jonathan Mannion, Charlie Le Mindu, Marilyn Minter, Moschino, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Fahamu Pecou, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Valentino, and Kehinde Wiley. 



HAUTE HIP-HOP celebrates the rise of the hip-hop phenomenon and its preeminent influence on contemporary art, culture, and fashion. Beginning in the 1970s as a vibrant grassroots youth movement, hip-hop has evolved into an international artistic, economic, and philosophical phenomenon. Born in the boroughs of New York and cultivated in the mixtapes, dance moves and street fashion of its leaders, hip-hop has seen fifty years of growth from the underground to the mainstream, from rebellion to sovereignty. A child of contradiction, hip-hop still serves both as a voice of the frustrated subaltern and as the basis of a global, multibillion dollar industry. Like its music, hip-hop fashion began in the streets, costing little, but representing everything to a youth culture that champions individualism, attitude, and the power of creative expression. As hip-hop has transcended the underground, making millionaires and pop culture paragons, it has never lost its original spirit of revolution. 

From the early days when Dapper Dan was remixing designer trends in a small store in Harlem, hip-hop has aimed at the infiltration and disruption of mainstream fashion codes. Fast forward to today, and the gap between hip hop and high fashion is disappearing with every season. Rap icons like Kanye West and ASAP Rocky seamlessly navigate from street style to the front row of Fashion Week, as comfortable in bespoke tailored trousers as in oversized camo pants. The legendary fashion labels took notice, and the influence of hip-hop on the catwalk is now undeniable in big-name lines, including Givenchy, Maison Martin Margiela, and younger trending designers such as Rick Owens and Raf Simons. Today’s hip-hop is a harmony of many voices, founded on principles of collaboration and hybridity that have given birth to completely new forms of cultural expression. This exhibit examines the progress of hip-hop style and influence, rooted in its music, art, and attitude, from its conception in the social and cultural tumult of 1970s urban America to its place at the forefront of innovation in art, fashion, and culture. As a movement, hip-hop has inverted the traditional path of diffusion, rising from the streets to the throne of haute couture, revolutionizing what we wear, what we listen to, and who we are, while always keeping it real.