Installation view, The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century

The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century


The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art is now sold out.

Since its emergence in the Bronx in the 1970s, hip hop has grown into a global phenomenon, driving innovations in music, fashion, technology, and visual and performing arts. 

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop, The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century captures the extraordinary influence hip hop has had on contemporary society through more than 90 works of art and fashion by some of today’s most important and celebrated artists and iconic brands. 

The Culture, co-organized with the Saint Louis Art Museum, explores the past two decades of hip hop through a wide range of painting, sculpture, photography, installations, video, and fashion organized into six themes—Language, Brand, Adornment, Tribute, Ascension, and Pose. 

“Hip hop’s impact, meaning, and influence are both imperceivable and obvious, and are felt, in equal measure, across both mainstream culture and fine art in the U.S. and abroad,” said Asma Naeem, the Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “With this exhibition, we are developing a greater depth of scholarship about hip hop, and how it appears as its own canon in so many aspects of contemporary artmaking, allowing us to better understand its distinct qualities and the reasons why it has so deeply embedded itself in the global psyche.”

See photos from the Members Preview Party, the VIP Opening Celebration, and Community Day.

BMA Stories: Watch the Throne by Asma Naeem, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director

Featured artists and brands include:

Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton, Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, adidas Originals by Pharrell Williams, adidas Originals by Wales Bonner, Anthony Olubunmi Akinbola, Dionne Alexander, Maxwell Alexandre, Devin Allen, Baby Phat, Bruno Baptistelli, Alvaro Barrington, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford, Jordan Casteel, Chance The Rapper, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Willy Chavarria, Caitlin Cherry, Troy Lamarr Chew II, Kudzanai Chiurai, Telfar Clemens, Larry W. Cook, William Cordova, Cross Colours, Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day for Gucci, Damon Davis, Alex de Mora,  Stan Douglas, John Edmonds, Jen Everett, Aaron Fowler, Gajin Fujita, Nicholas Galanin, Luis Gispert, Hassan Hajjaj, Lauren Halsey, Robert Hodge, Monica Ikegwu, Interview Magazine, Kahlil Robert Irving, Shabez Jamal, Kahlil Joseph and Kendrick Lamar, Nia June + Kirby Griffin + APoetNamedNate, LA II, Deana Lawson, El Franco Lee II, Amani Lewis, Megan Lewis, Maï Lucas, Miguel Luciano, Roberto Lugo, Eric N. Mack, Charles Mason III, Emmanuel Massillon, Malcolm McLaren, Julie Mehretu, Murjoni Merriweather, Jayson Musson, Rashaad Newsome, Yvonne Osei, Zéh Palito, Gordon Parks, José Parlá, Fahamu Pecou, Adam Pendleton, Robert Pruitt, Rammellzee and K-Rob with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sheila Rashid, Rozeal, Joyce J. Scott, Tschabalala Self, Ernest Shaw, Jr., Tariku Shiferaw, Devan Shimoyama, Shirt, Shinique Smith, Texas Isaiah and Ms. Boogie, Hank Willis Thomas, TNEG: Arthur Jafa, Elissa Blount Moorhead, and Malik Sayeed, Michael Vasquez, Wales Bonner, Adrian Octavius Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, Abbey Williams, Wilmer Wilson IV, and XXL Magazine.


Please be aware that some works of art in this exhibition include references to sex, violence, profanity, and racial stereotypes.


Co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM), the exhibition is co-curated by Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director; Gamynne Guillotte, the BMA’s Chief Education Officer; Hannah Klemm, SLAM’s Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; and Andréa Purnell, SLAM’s Audience Development Manager.

The Culture is further supported by an advisory committee comprising experts and artists across a wide range of disciplines, including Martha Diaz, Founder and President of the Hip-Hop Education Center; Wendel Patrick, professor at the Peabody Music Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University; Tef Poe, rapper and activist; Hélio Menezes, anthropologist and curator of Afro-Atlantic Histories; and Timothy Anne Burnside, public historian and Museum Specialist in Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by The Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Exhibition Endowment Fund, the Victor J. Schenk Trust, Patricia Lasher and Richard Jacobs, Lorayne and Jim Thornton, Clair Zamoiski Segal, George Petrocheilos, and Paul L. Oostburg Sanz and Tonya Robinson.

Beats, rhymes, culture and finances for this exhibition are generously provided by hip hop ambassadors “DJ Fly Guy” Flynn & Nupur Parekh Flynn, inventor of BAGCEIT®