Lee Quinones, the legendary New York graffiti artist who was one of the first street artists to move from murals to canvases has a great series of paintings set to showcase at PS1 this summer and selling the remaining sets of the Dirty Dozen / Prelude giclee prints on canvas at II Trifoglio Nero. A total of 12 paintings were produced and each depicts classic break beat records like James Brown’s Sex Machine, the Incredible Bongo Band’s Bongo Rock, and Shaft in Africa. Painted as the gackets were being tucked into a jacket sleeve, the compositions have an outlaw sensibility as if the music were being pilfered or otherwise disseminated in secret. Imbued with a narrative quality, the works carry the head of optimism of a DJ with the showstopper tune or a graffutu artist with the biggest and boldest tag. Paying homage to sonic forefathers, Quinones’s paintings encapsulate the music and MC’s, break dancers and artists at the core of the early hip hop culture.
Although Eric Clapton has got his hands on the entire collection and paid a cool $120,000usd Lee Quinones wanted to keep music and art collectors on cue with producing a limited edition set of 24 prints, which includes the 12 riginal paintings expertly printed on canvas and signed and numbered. The paintings are a visual memo of those pivotel and yet innocent years of music in New York before the hip hop explosion like Herman Kelly, Baby Huey, James Brown, Babe Ruth, Jimmy Castor and so many more.