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Art Articles

You could be my mainstream, I could be your underworld: Drawings by Tommy Genesis

Nov 17, 2019

You could be my mainstream, I could be your underworld: Drawings by Tommy Genesis


This past weekend, off a narrow street in the bustling streets of downtown LA, we see a poised Tommy Genesis standing in front of her canvases through a gallery window; carefully observing the placement, lighting, and position of her charcoal drawings.   Robust aromas of sage are permeating the space as the pre-show jitters are slowly getting blanketed with a glass of a gin & tonic.  


While we know her as the Awful Records rap queen, a new face for Fenty, and a youthful energetic spirit in today’s music, she’s now entering the realm of visual arts. Titled,  “You could be my mainstream, I can be your underworld.”, the collection represents the free form of Tommy’s stream of consciousness. With no references, rules, or inspirations involved, the charcoal lines represent the beauty and pureness of the human body.  

Tommy notes: “Make it be something, not be about something…I remember being so strict with my mind, focused on minimalism, architecture, installation and flipping appropriation. These drawings have nothing to do with that. If you were to ask me what these drawings mean to the world, I couldn’t tell you. But they mean so much to me”

In celebrating her newest avenue in this medium, artist and friend Ganna Bogdan took the hot seat with Tommy in a discussion this passion.  The space was filled with guests from Vince Staples, Yung Jake, Madison Skylar, Tavia Bonetti, and Charlie Heat, and many more of Tommy’s beloved community.