"The Most Illinest B-Boy" Adam Yauch, A.K.A., MCA of Beastie Boys, By Quin Sweetman, Oil on Canvas, 16x20
My painting for the Rock n' Roll themed Day of the Dead show, "Honor Thy Music."
I was a young and naive junior high-schooler when Beastie Boys first hit it big but their songs became my generation's anthem. "You gotta fight for your right to party", right? My brothers and I played their music loud and often. My younger brother was even inspired to take-up rapping around this time and continues to this day.
My painting represents the journey towards enlightenment, though the show is about death. From young punk, to hard-partying 1980s rapper, Adam Yauch, A.K.A. MCA, began to study Tibetan Buddhism in 1992 and converted to the religion in 1996. More significantly, Yauch co-founded the Milarepa Fund in the same year to help increase awareness of the Tibetan independence movement and in 1996, helped launch a series of large-scale musical festivals known as the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, featuring the Beastie Boys amongst dozens of other groups including A Tribe Called Quest, U2, Radiohead, Wu-Tang Clan, and Rage Against the Machine. Along the way, Yauch became the group's most outspoken member on social justice issues. For a rapper that once rapped about how "we rag-tag girlies back at the hotel" in 1986 ("The New Style"), by 1994, he was insisting, "I want to say a little something that's long overdue / the disrespect women has got to be through" ("Sure Shot"). Now that I am older and a little more "mature", this gesture is quite welcome as a woman.
And the meaning of death resinates more now that I have lost some dear members of my family. I also appreciate Yauch's struggle to find meaning. Though his life seemed cut-short at the age of 47, perhaps death really is just a beginning. No "resting in peace" when a new journey awaits.
See my painting and others at the Art Show Honoring the great musicians who have passed on yet continue to influence, inspire and enrich our lives from beyond the grave.
Gallery 135: PDX, 6-9 p.m. Thursday
135 NW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209
Over 50 Artists have been invited to pay homage to a selected musician using their own unique method, media and style, in keeping with the spirit of the great Mexican holiday: El Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead)
In the Day of The Dead Tradition, it is believed that beginning at midnight on October 31st, the gates of Heaven are opened for all the spirits of the deceased to come down and reunite with their loved ones and enjoy the Festivities that have been prepared for them. It is a joyous celebration of remembrance, not a dark time of sorrow. In Mexico, death is not feared, it is confronted - with mockery, acceptance and reverie.
The Artist Corona will be building a large Community Offrenda (altar) - which will be interactive in the sense that we invite you to contribute to it by adding a small photo, memento or other offering of your choice.
Show Curated by Alea Ahwahnee Bone & Corona
With Special Thanks to: Lisa Klupenger & Jake Pacheco at IDL Worldwide for hosting.