San Francisco based artist and rapper, Yarrow Slaps, has a message of truth and creativity to share and it may also inspire you to look deeper. He often depicts skillfully painted portraits of cultural icons such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tupac, NBA super stars like Paul Pierce, and historical injustices and movements like Trayvon Martin and the Black Panthers. It’s a helluva exploration into the mind of Yarrow Slaps and definitely one worth taking.
Slaps has teamed up with longtime friend and artist, Auguste Somers, to create an art collective SWIM that already made its debut with two successful group shows in LA last year. Their newest experiential collaborative art show fused with fashion and music, “Swimmin’ in the Playground” at FIFTY24SF next to our flagship Upper Playground store, attracted people from all walks of life to connect in unity with what Somers calls, “the now” in a single space. The show, curated by Slaps and Somers, opened on May 21st and features 30 artists, including Slaps and Somers themselves.
As a person influenced and inspired by Tupac (which Slaps depicts in his artwork so beautifully), I couldn’t help but hear “Changes” in my head while viewing Slaps’ art- being reminded of artists who integrate the social, political, racial injustices, hypocrisies and nuances of American culture into their art form so damn well. There has been progress since Tupac called out the organized injustice system, i.e. we do have a black President, but not a whole lot has changed systemically; there is still a lot more work and healing that needs to be done.
Slaps highlights these concepts in his portraiture with grace and perhaps a sense of urgency. It subtly asks the viewer to take a look around and inside. What’s happening in the world, what’s happening to you, to others? Do you see the truth, or are you blinded by the illusions of fear, anger and separation? I noticed my own curiosity nudge my conscience as a gentle reminder. The power of awareness is a force to be reckoned with and listened to.
Should your curiosity lead you to take action, check out “Swimmin’ in the Playground” to view Yarrow Slaps’ work in person and support local artists:
218 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
Wed – Sun 12:00-6:00PM
Mon – Tue By Appointment