Chicago artist Brandon Breaux is the creative force behind some of hip-hop’s most high-profile cover art. Breaux’s recent work includes a trilogy of pieces for fellow Chicagoan Chance The Rapper’s mixtapes (10 Day, Acid Rap, Coloring Book), digital and video projects, animation, illustration and fashion. We asked Breaux to walk us through five of his works and tell the stories behind each piece. His work is currently being showcased in the art show Over 9000 through next Friday, June 24, at The Chicago Art Department.
Treated Tribe Collection
This was a design project I contributed to for the Treated Tribe Collection, which was a three-way collaboration between Stussy Worldwide, St. Alfred and Treated Crew. The collection was released in Tokyo, Japan, and a huge group of us went out for the release and a performance by Treated Crew there. I really feel that it was a monumental moment for us all. The model in this photo is Grammy-nominated recording artist Pusha T.
These are customized table tennis paddles I created for an Exchange Rate party event at Soho House Chicago. The art on the paddles are smaller versions of larger pieces that I have, which haven’t been shown. Look for the larger versions this summer at one of the few art shows I have planned.
Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book
This was really fun to make. Chance had a vision on this one and we executed it pretty quickly. The next thing I know is it was all over the city. Very fun project to be behind.
This is an illustrative piece I did one night and randomly posted on Instagram. When I was a teenager the only people who had locks in Chicago were people who came here from other places or some of the kids that were deep into backpack hip-hop/rap, so to speak. Later, all of the hood embraced locks thanks to Lil Wayne, and here we are. Culture is extremely important and the more work I do in the world the more I realize about my own culture and the more I am able to recognize and fully appreciate the culture of others.
DJ Timbuck 2
Follow Brandon Breaux on Twitter as @theBreaux and see more of his work at brandonbreaux.com.
This piece is a digital illustration of the late great Heavy Hitter, our brother DJ Timbuck 2. I knew Tim from my high school years where we were all contributing to Chicago hip-hop. He was very important to the culture and his absence was unimaginable. I helped out with his final logo, and I was to do a digital illustration for him before he passed. But I didn’t do it while he was with us, so I did it after he passed to pay tribute to him as an offering to his legacy. Timbuck 2 is regarded as an ancestor of culture right now. It’s crazy to use words like “ancestor” when referring to a culture so young and a person who died so young, but death or ascension makes you aware of time like you wouldn’t believe and I found this piece fitting for that act of preserving the memory of an ancestor for the future’s benefit.