Beyond Bling

Voices of Hip-Hop in Art

Matthew McLendon

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 697 7

    Size: 250 x 210 mm / 9.75 x 8.25 in.

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 120

    In association with:

    Date published: May, 2011

    UK £14.95 /US $19.95


  • Features works by Michael Anderson, Iona Rozeal Brown, Gajin Fujita, Vince Fraser, Luis Gispert, Sofia Maldonado, Nadine Robinson, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas and Kehinde Wiley
  • Includes interviews with Michael Anderson, Gajin Fujita, Luis Gispert, Sofia Maldonado and Mickalene Thomas
  • Accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, from May 21 to August 15, 2011


It is now 30 years since the catalyst that brought hip-hop to the masses, Sugar Hill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’. The explosion of rap music and the street culture from which it sprang have had an indelible influence on our lifestyle today. We see it in our language, fashion, advertising, role models and most notably, our contemporary art. Beyond Bling: Voices of Hip-Hop in Art examines this phenomenon as seen through the art of ten of the most exciting, innovative and diverse contemporary artists working in the 21st century. Featuring a painting of an African-American male as the new art historical icon by Kehinde Wiley, a rhinestone-encrusted, baroque image of the African-American woman by Mickalene Thomas, the Asian-influenced graffiti art of Gajin Fujita and neighbourhood women from a mural featured in New York’s Times Square by Sofia Maldonado, among many other outstanding works, this fascinating book highlights how the new art of this century reflects the influence of hip-hop culture and its undeniable mark on society at large.

Other titles published by Scala for the Ringling Museum incude: Ca d’Zan: Ringling’s Venetian Palace: Art SpacesGrounds and Gardens: Art SpacesThe Historic Asolo Theatre: Art SpacesThe John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art: Director’s ChoicePaolo Veronese, R. Luke DuBois and Triumph and Taste

Author information

Matthew McLendon is the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.