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From Barnes & Noble
Like his 2009 Beat of Urban Art, Justin Bua's new The Legends of Hip Hop captures the street scenes of pre-gentrified New York City. For Bua, his subject isn't just music: "Hip hop was not just rapping. It was a countercultural philosophy calling for change against the social inequalities of the time." That directed fervency emerges emphatically in his raw, yet sculpted paintings of hip hop artists. These are not pretty pictures. "Many artists look for beauty," Bua once told an interviewer. "I look for the ugliness that tells the story of the street."