5 Reasons Why You Should Buy...: "RareInk": "We Wanted To Represent What [Ice Cube's] LP Covers Stood For"

Friday, Sep 2, 2011 12:15AM

Written by SOHH for Mark Sgarbossa

[As class is now back in session, SOHH is helping students make a strong return to school by bringing them some of the flyest gear to rock this semester. Artist Mark Sgarbossa wraps up this week by detailing his Top 5 reasons to hook up your dorm room with some authentic Ice Cube/RareInk art.]

1. Most Wanted

One reason is, I'm a fan of Ice Cube. RareInk discovered my art from some posters I had done for Johnny Cash. They liked my style and they wanted to use that type of style for their Ice Cube project. RareInk has gone and remixed, art-wise, all of the album covers of Ice Cube. I was fortunate enough to get Amerikkka's Most Wanted. It's my favorite Ice Cube record partially because I was in school and would play that record constantly as I was painting. I went to more of a fine arts school than let's say a straight up graphics type of school.

2. It Was A Good Painting

The "It Was A Good Day" painting was an interesting one because with Amerikkka's Most Wanted, RareInk wanted to kind of represent what each cover stood for. So I took a more colorful approach, even though all of the shapes are still there. It's more exciting than the original because of the colors. So the piece was up in the air for me to interpret. Ice Cube has said that not everything has to be terrible, day to day. A lot of hip-hop stuff sometimes focuses on negative stuff and this one was showing you, "Hey, not everyday is bad." So we took some of the scenes that was going on in the video and tried to piece them together in a way that would be pleasing to the eye. It's a lot of information to go into one image, trying to tell the story. I think I did it very effectively. The main focus is just rolling down the street and behind him is all of the things going on. The lyrics are kind of interspersed throughout the artwork. That kind of connects the music to the imagery. This song is pretty important for him because it sort of set up his career being not just one thing. That's why that song is important and why they wanted me to do that.

3. You Are So Beautiful

What's great about these pieces are that they are really beautiful. That's not even a sales pitch. I was up there during the signing [of paintings] and I was one of the few who got to meet Cube. The posters themselves are really well printed. They're so vibrant and the colors are so gorgeous. I have done a lot of printing and was amazed at what they could do. The quality of the paper is second to none. So despite the art, it's really super quality. It's not photocopied. If you're a fan of Cube, and I don't think you have to be a fan of Cube, or a fan of hip-hop or art, you could put it up anywhere. I sort of see it in living spaces because it's something that people can interact with and look at. It's not just something you put in your llving room like a picture of a tree. They involved the viewer. They're mixed, in my view, between fine art and commercial or graphic art. It's paying homage. It's very colorful so you would want to put it around a place that's pretty colorful. It'll bring some color into your life.

4. Color Cut Classic

With the Amerikka's Most Wanted, I went off the actual album cover. But I went off a little more than other artists as far as taking liberties with it. I felt like I wanted to bring a lot more energy to that particular album cover. That record is funky and colorful. There's a lot of humor in it and it's not just an aggressive album. As aggressive and threatening as the album may be, I didn't want to make it less threatening. I know that there are a lot of funkadelic music being used. That's why I made it a lot more colorful and filled with energy. But the "It Was A Good Day," I had complete freedom. The concept was sort of suggested to me. Originally, that piece was actually more airbrushed and had more of a paintry type look. So I had to kind of bring it down for a little more graphic look. The guys over at RareInk did give a few suggestions and it was great working with them. I think they're pretty wise in what they want and what the customer wants.

5. Rush Hour

Like with anything, everything is a bit rushed. I get asked to do things with a two-day turnaround. But not by RareInk. They gave plenty of time and the changes they asked me to make, they gave me time to do those. The pieces themselves, hour-wise, I took a bit more time than I normally would on other projects. I felt this is something that can really connect with an artist that I know everybody really respects. I had spent more time on this than other things and I'm really happy with the results. People who are really not big hip-hop fans want to buy this and are interested and that's the point.

You Decide. Will you purchase Ice Cube's RareInk collection?

To preview and purchase the limited edition collection, just click here.

Peep Ice Cube & Mark Sgarbossa discuss the art below

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