The streets of New York have been the breeding ground for the creative misfits and there have been superstars tagging the walls; like Fab5Freddy, Keith Haring, and other legends. Transitioning the once underground world of “taggers” aka graffiti artists into the glamorous world of the art gallery, what was once subversive has now become de rigueur as legitimate show worthy commodities displayed on the white walls. Numerous coverage were already done of street artists born of strife and fighting to make their dream come true. However, Oscar O’Maliey is an 18-year-old street hustling wizard by day and a poetic artist at night that will soon segue into the world of music.
For a lot of kids growing up in tough circumstances, art becomes a saving grace bolstered by a deep imagination. Where one produces the sweetest nectar, it must be bruised and crushed. O’Maliey had dealt with his quota of surviving the urban jungle with past volatile relationships, the code of the brotherhood, gleaming in the shadow of crack neighborhoods, and the shroud of night filled with experimentation. One’s soul sees all these things, it forces a shackled mind to break free and find ways of expressing themselves. It may have started spraying graffiti around the block but it evolved into messages and the words to change a present state of mind. But deep inside the wizened street veneer lies the heart of a romantic poet who worshiped women’s natural beauty and a developed sense of style matched with a 100 Carat diamond bling’d out aura.
Rap can be seen as definitely street and in the ‘hood but taking a second look at O’Maliey will reveal quite a man of refined aesthetics. The clothes on his back are from the likes of Alexander Wang and a Berlin based designer label. He has shot his music video at the Selima Optique store in Soho. He has offers to do creative collaborations with fashion brands and an artist will be doing his album cover. There is that level of sophistication that makes him Rap’s Renaissance Man.
Freeing your mind to illustrate your thoughts on the wall is just the primer and now playing out the words to beats and syncopated rhythms is taking it to the next level. Now the poet artist has graduated from navigating the harsh streets to lay down notes on the music sheets. All of this was done effortlessly and with élan.
Oscar O’Maliey drops it as the headliner on April 21st in a private event at a Brooklyn Warehouse and future project doing an ep track for the Epic hotel in Miami’s South Beach.
To view the infamous video done at Selima Optique, please click on the link
Article by: Oscar A. Laluyan
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Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Leila Heller Gallery, September 2014
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