ART: Mike Schreiber’s True Hip Hop Exhibition @ powerHouse Arena

by Raymond Herrera

powerHouse Arena exhibit flyer

Friday July 13th an exhibit I’ve heard buzz about and have been looking forward to since the spring opens to the public. I got a sneak peek of some of his pieces and got a chance to talk to Mighty Tanaka‘s Alex Emmart about the upcoming show a few months back, and I felt privileged to have had that access. Mike Schreiber‘s book tour will hit Brooklyn’s powerHouse Arena along with a showing of some photographs in the book, and some previously unreleased pieces. Last year Mighty Tanaka and powerHouse teamed up for the group exhibition Under the Influence which also featured Schreiber’s work alongside other prominent artists (disclosure: a piece from yours truly as well) whose works also share hip hop culture as inspiration. But after this exhibition attendees will better understand how the influence flows in all directions.

Mike Schreiber, Beasite Boys

A self taught photographer, Mike started out his career working at the school paper at the University of Connecticut, where he majored in anthropology. In an interview with Mass Appeal‘s dantana he recalls starting photographing live shows at the Wetlands and Tramps in NYC. Mike says of the experience, ” I shot a lot of shows, and I found that I was able to get better access at Hip Hop shows, so I got more backstage stuff that I was able to sell to The Source and Vibe. From there, publicists and people at the magazines started to know who I was, so things just kinda went from there and next thing I knew, I had a little career path!” And his background in anthropology comes through in his ability to condense and reconstruct his superstar subjects and their personas into homies you may know from around the way, or give you brand new perspectives of them altogether. Hip hop history and photography is all the better for not having Mike buried under a pile of papers on some obscure culture in the middle of a nameless desert somewhere.

Mike Schreiber, RZA aka Bobby Digital

Schreiber still shoots using film. He says to dantana that he “has no interest in digital photography whatsoever.” In an age where technology has made everyone a pro photographer, his use of more traditional methods of producing an image is refreshing and maintains the otherwise diminished craft alive. It also enhances the personal connection we experience when looking at the work.

Mike Schreiber, Heavy D

After successful book launches for his book True Hip Hop in Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, and London, Mighty Tanaka and powerHouse Arena will surely keep the momentum going for his homecoming. Schreiber’s work has been featured in Esquire Magazine, Rolling Stone, TRACE, New York Magazine, VIBE, XXL, SLAM, SPIN and Arise. He has also had solo shows in New York, London, Miami, Atlanta, and Chicago. I look forward to joining familiar faces live and in print.

You can RSVP for this event here.