Celebrating the photographers who have played a critical role in bringing hip-hop’s visual culture to the global stage, CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop is an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, as told through their most intimate diaries: their unedited contact sheets.
Curated by Vikki Tobak, based on the bestselling book of the same name, and with creative direction by Fab 5 Freddy, the photographic exhibition includes nearly 140 works from 60 photographers. Guests will also see over 75 original and unedited contact sheets—from Barron Claiborne’s iconic Notorious B.I.G. portraits and early images of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West as they first took to the scene, to Janette Beckman’s defining photos of Salt-N-Pepa, and Jamel Shabazz and Gordon Parks documenting hip-hop culture—CONTACT HIGHallows visitors to look directly through the photographer’s lens and observe all of the pictures taken during these legendary photo shoots.
The exhibit also includes an exclusive new, documentary short film – produced by the Annenberg Foundation and Radical Media – featuring a selection of CONTACT HIGH’s photographers at work and in conversation, including Barron Claiborne, Brian “B+” Cross, Eric Coleman, Estevan Oriol, Jorge Peniche, Jamel Shabazz, Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, Jack McKain, Dana Scruggs, and Danny Clinch.
Rare videos, memorabilia, and music are included to complement the photographs, demonstrating how the documentation of a cultural phenomenon impacts politics, culture, and social movements around the world. And in a first for the Photo Space, visitors can enjoy Contact High Records, a pop-up record shop featuring rare vinyl spanning the history of hip-hop.
CONTACT HIGH was created in partnership with United Photo Industries.
Bringing your family? Download our Family Activity guide here or ask for one at the front desk.