A decade after the death of Rammellzee, who became an icon of hip-hop art, Jeffrey Deitch has stepped up to represent his vision.
Jeffrey Deitch, the famed American art dealer, will be exhibiting works by Rammellzee at the Art Basel Miami Beach this week. He also plans to host an exhibition dedicated to the broader works of the artist at his Los Angeles-based gallery in the fall of next year. The efforts to capitalize on the legacy of the hip-hop icon have gained pace in recent years. By winning the rights to represent his estate, Deitch has put a stop to those speculations.
Jeffrey Deitch has had a long relationship with Rammellzee. The two first met in 1980, and Deitch help Rammellzee in his early collaborations with Jean-Michel Basquiat (which included the iconic 1983 song Beat Bop). Deitch also ensured Rammellzee’s representations in other mediums, like the 1982 film Wild Style and the graffiti documentary Style Wars by Henry Chalfant. In 2011, a year after his death, Rammellzee was featured in “Art In The Streets”. The major exhibition, organized by Jeffrey Deitch while he served as the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), focused on street artists.
Rammellzee is widely regarded as a cultural icon in the hip-hop community, but also beyond that. From the 1970s till his death in 2010, the graffiti artist and musician left a lasting impact on the hip-hop culture. His enigmatic life, about which only a few people knew, added more attraction to his legacy. More recently, he was the subject of a 2018 Red Bull Arts survey 2018.