“Che Kothari has photographed many of hip hop’s most revered legends. His extensive catalogue of photographs featuring iconic rappers includes shots of Ice Cube, Chuck D., A Tribe Called Quest,Afrika Bambaataa, Common, Nas, and many others, so it makes sense that the Toronto-based photographer would be the brains behind an exhibition celebrating the impact of hip hop through photography.
Curated by Che and Ryan Paterson and launching at North America’s largest photography festival, Toronto’s CONTACT Photography, the 40 Years of Hip Hop Photography exhibit is set to feature 81 images from 13 of hip hop’s most respected shooters. That list includes Jonathan Mannion, Janette Beckman, Estevan Oriol, Nabil Elderkin, Jamel Shabazz, Charlie Ahearn, and of course, Che Kothari. The exhibit, which will run through May 30th, is just the beginning of what Che ultimately has planned. “My vision for 40 Years is much bigger than this exhibition in Toronto,” he admits. “I would love to see this exhibition travel throughout the world to New York, Los Angeles, Miami at Art Basel, South Africa, Tokyo, Paris, India, etc, etc.” Here, the photographer and community activist tells Life + Times how 40 Years of Hip Hop Photography came together, what it was like bringing Va$htie‘s 1992 party to Toronto and the benefits of introducing art to young people.”
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