Hip Hop is still very much alive and despite its criticisms Hip Hop continuously has a positive influence on its listeners, inspiring all kinds of artists – from dancers to skaters to musicians. Now, Hip Hop’s spirit has touched the souls of artists taking its inspiration all the way to Tate Britain.

Since 27th January a major new exhibition has hit the walls of Tate Britain and that’s the work of Hip Hop motivated Chris Ofili.

Growing up in Manchester in the 1980s Nigerian Chris Ofili always had a deep love for the Hip Hop Culture. He has a list of the most significant Hip Hop tracks that contributed to his success – Notorious B.I.G’s 10 Crack Commandments, Jay-Z’s Blueprint and Nas’s Illamtic are just to name a few. With this passion, and installed religious viewpoints, Chris Ofili found his incredible talent.

Having won the Turner prize in 1998, aged 30, Chris Ofili has become one of the UK’s most famous home-grown black artists, and now Tate Britain is celebrating his accomplishments.

Creating a special youth ticket of just £5, Tate Britain is showcasing around 45 of Chris Ofili’s paintings including No Woman No Cry that he had dedicated to Stephen Lawrence. This is not the first time Chris has used issues from his surroundings to explore ideas of racism, ethnicity and identity for his work, and true to his musical love uses Hip Hop titles for his work. His work is no doubt a must-see.

Chris Ofili Exhibition
Address: Tate Britain, Level 2 Galleries, Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Dates: 27 January – 16 May 2010
Opening Times: 10.00 to 17.55 and 22.00 the first Friday of every month
Ticket Price: Over 26 £xx / Under 26 £5 with I-D
Nearest Tube: Pimlico

Words by Melissa Lewars