Still Tho: Aesthetic Survival in Hip-Hop's Visual Art is an ode to the visual artists in Canada who shaped hip-hop culture and its aesthetics. Through their art, they have placed justice front and centre to inspire social change at home and around the world. The phrase 'Still Tho' in the exhibition's title refers to a common expression that speaks to acts of artists' perseverance, overcoming numerous barriers to make art and build community.
While some aspects of hip-hop's early years in the late 1970s and early 1980s have been well archived, visual works from that period were mostly temporary. Artists often overwrote one another's graffitti, while the naturals elements destroyed outdoor murals. The mixed-media works in this exhibition explore how hip-hop's visual artists have woven together historical, nostalgic, and archival elements to leave a physical legacy. Moreover, the exhibition highlights the lasting impact of hip-hop's visual art on both Canadian culture and visual aesthetics in our digital age.
The exhibition is curated by Mark V. Campbell, from the Nortside Hip-Hop Archive, a digital collection of Canadian hip-hop history and culture.