No matter what kind of music you like, Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop at the Annenberg Space for Photography is a fascinating insider look at the photographers who documented the swagger, style, and complex culture of Hip-Hop. 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 HIGH allows 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’sphotographers 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.