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Snoop Dogg painting (all stills via Dazed Digital)

“My process when I get ready to paint? I definitely gotta have a blunt, because the blunt is inspiration to the creation,” so says Snoop Dogg during a new commercial for a Swedish sock company that placed the rap legend in a studio equipped with your typical art-making paraphernalia: blank walls, blank canvases, paint, brushes, spray paint cans, tennis balls, water guns, boxing gloves, water balloons, three skimpily clad assistants, and at least one blunt.

Snoop Dogg painting

“For many years I’ve always felt like painting was something that I wanted to do, but I never had time to do,” Tha Doggfather explains. “Painting gives me an emotion like no other. I could cry while I’m painting. I can laugh while I’m painting. I can be serious while I’m painting. I don’t have no parameters. When I’m rapping there’s certain things I can’t do. When I’m acting there’s certain things I can’t do. There’s certain things I won’t do. But with the painting, there’s no limit.” Accompanying slow motion footage of Snoop (legal name Calvin Broadus) in the studio shows him laughing and being serious while painting, though any evidence of tears shed over the sublime beauty of his Willem de Kooning-lite compositions apparently wound up on the cutting room floor.

Snoop Dogg painting

The erstwhile Snoop Lion’s works appear to fall predominantly in an abstract vein, borrowing from the canonical Ab Ex painters like Jackson Pollock as well as more contemporary figures like Julian Schnabel. Despite their non-figurative imagery, Snoop’s paintings are informed by very real, lived experiences.

Snoop Dogg painting

“My mind is somewhere else where it was a colorful time,” he says, “where these colors and these patterns and these ideas really mean something to me and what I was going through as a kid or maybe what i was going through yesterday, or maybe right now.”

Snoop Dogg painting

Though Snoop is just starting out as a painter, he appears to be just as confident in the work coming out of his painting studio as he is of the pieces he makes in the recording studio. Not surprising, considering that a painting he made earlier this year sold for $10,200 on eBay. In fact, Snoop seems so confident in his art, you might say he’s ego trippin’.

Snoop Dogg painting

“I know that I’m an artist, I know that my paintings mean something and people are going to be interested in them and they’re gonna want to buy them, and, you know, have them hanging up on their walls in their favorite spots because it’s an expression of somebody who has been giving the truth from day one,” he says. “They’ve been riding on this journey with me so it’s another piece of the puzzle, it’s like a piece of Snoop that we can take with us forever.”

In other words, be on the lookout for Snoop’s paintings in Miami in December.

h/t Dazed

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

20 replies on “Painterly Dogg, Doggy Dogg: Snoop Shills Swedish Socks in Salacious Studio Scene”

  1. You just know that Jerry Saltz is already writing about how good his work is. I’m sure it’s as good as George Bush’s paintings and maybe better. Can’t wait to hear the drivel Jerry, lets have it! Nothing get’s so many reviews as another no talent celebrity cum artist.

  2. I thought Hyper was against misogyny? Maybe this is a paid advertisement for the sock company so they overlooked it.

    1. Ditto, ditto, ditto. Was Mr. Snoop a musician after his first day, month year of trying? Hey “art dealers”(?), bring us the miss-informed, the un-educated and the hungry greedy for the next round of sales. Sorry Snoop all artists think their work doesn’t smell. (But you know that). All statements expressed within, are personal opinion.

  3. his art is ok at best, his graffiti is super weak… like we need another person bastardizing graffiti with so called art and bastardizing art by not being a studied artist or being able to see the world differently. his paintings are just stoned scribble and lack a certain lucid aspect that great art has and will probably not last any test of time when it comes to real art. but enough of my sour gripes, so long as he has real emotion in his work I wish him the best… and hopefully he will try a painting while not mentally fogged and see where it can go.

  4. “the sublime beauty of his Willem de Kooning-lite compositions”
    Seriously? I thought better of you Hyperallergic. These sophomoric, ill-informed attempts to mimic some romantic trope of what pop culture imagines the art making process to be are NOT worth attention. And once again, the media is roped into the delusion that the value of an artwork is determined by its monetary worth making it easy for celebs to put their crap on ebay and have it validated by someone clamoring to hang drivel on their wall for no other reason than association with a fame.

    Get a grip. To positively compare this derivative mimicry to ground-breaking work that ab-ex painters were doing more than 60 YEARS AGO is insulting to your audience at best, and at worst damaging to the public perception of contemporary art.

    You are better than this.

    1. My comparison of the great Snoop Dogg’s paintings to the works of Willem de Kooning was intended in jest. I sincerely apologize for any damage I may have caused to the public perception of contemporary art.

      1. I did get a hint of snark from the alliterative title, but I guess for me the humor was overshadowed by the problem of giving something like this media attention. There are so very many hard working artists out there doing amazing things and struggling to get above the noise, it seems a shame to keep calling attention to self-aggrandizing celebs whose art dabbling would/should be ignored were it not for their celebrity – from Bush to Zimmerman to Snoop. We don’t regularly dedicate feature pieces to the efforts of art school freshmen – why do so for celebs who’ve only made the same ill-informed, unsophisticated explorations?

        1. thank you! the mere fact that this man has an entire article on an art blog dedicated to his “efforts” are demoralizing and saddening to people like you and myself (aka people dedicating their lives and finances to their innate passion and need to create art)

          1. Totally fair. Perhaps a good example of why things on the internet sometimes need a tag unless they are in The Onion or Borowitz Report. I want to laugh at this, I really do.

            Also, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that most of de Kooning’s assistants were also underwear models. So there is that. :)

  5. i don’t believe anyone can drug their way into creativity. You can’t drug your way into talent. (You can’t drug your way into a personality, either.) If you don’t have “it” before you get high, it won’t be there later. While smoking pot has many benefits and should be legalized, Art is not a medical condition.

  6. Err….don’t quit your day job.

    Seriously? What happened to this guy? Wasn’t he cool at one point in time? Then Snoop Lion…then oblivion. How long before he’s on Celebrity Apprentice?

  7. Ho my god is excellent
    this is realy dripping I like
    the power of colour and art informal , abstract very conceptual element included the international movement born in Italy to the best exhibition in Luciano Inga-Pin In Milan
    group artists DIFFERENT OPINION
    best do you use my great idea with gang in plastic water and included inside the colour red, yellow and blue and black
    you are the best in USA bye to Mr. professor art critical and artist of course Roberto Scala

  8. You know I am of two minds on snoop dogg. On the one hand I’m thinking “this is the dude who’s been talking about gats, hos, pimping, drugs, gangs and glorifying all that other bullshit for years and years what is all this transformation shit? Who is he kidding? But then I think, well lots of artists change their style up, and if he wants to be a reggae artist (and a shitty painter) then more power to him. Moving beyond the tough guy stereotype is pretty cool, showing that there is a place for emotion and feelings in masculine role models.
    WHy not? It helps that everything he touches turns to gold

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