The young brothers marching under the word VIBE in the above image remind me of the days when I would visit my great grandmother in Harlem. I would see these young men marching in meticulous formation, dressed to the 9’s in their dark suits and bow ties. My grandfather would later tell me “those young men were from Temple Number 7” as it was known back in the day. The Museum Of UnCut Funk welcomes the art of Salaam Muhammad.
In a society where everything goes and nothing seems to change for the better, arts and culture, music and entertainment has taken a shift in society for the worse. I ask myself as an Artist who will stand up, who will shape the minds from negative into positive through Art and culture, who will be a leading voice through our creative mind of what we produce in the world of visual arts. It seems like visual art of this world has participated in the downfall of the people… From fashion all the way to our daily activity … IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE a transition from Visual art into Visionary Art…I am Salaam Muhammad and this is my story…
Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey reared and raised by his Father for 15 years at an early age, Salaam Muhammad spent his formative years there. An admirable talented and intelligent young man whose desire to make a difference birthed the idea of him finding his talent. As a talented young man, he was determined and eager to be seen and to be known, to make his existence on this earth known among his peers. From singing in school plays, to drawing in competitions, to lunchtime no pay commissions, Salaam Muhammad realized it was more to this world then just trying to fit in. Growing up in a rough community of gangs, drugs, and murder the big window from the 5th floor of his home became a lens to see a smal reality of what is going on with the poor and oppressed people of the world.
In no time, Salaam changed his style of Art from drawing what people already created to bringing forth his own thought provoking Art work. Comic books, cartoon characters, real live people all became a combination in a new style and message that he was destined to get out to his community. Growing up in a religious and spiritual household also helped in assisting him towards his new method and concept of Art. From the drawing board of Fat Albert cartoons, static shock and The Boondocks, Salaam discovered he needed to also create African American Art work, relating and pointing out the conditions of urban black communities . Competition became a serious reality in the public schools for Salaam at the age of 13 he noticed everyone wanted to become an Artist; schoolwork didn’t get done, classes were skipped and the television was not relevant anymore for Salaam. His major focus became the perfection of his craft. Positive Hip-hop and R&B music mixed with higher morals and conduct became fuel to the Artistry of Salaam Muhammad.
At the age of 16 Salaam realized it was necessary to change his ways of the production of his art from pencil, markers and colored pencils to acrylic oil paints. A new feel and satisfaction was present in the mind of Salaam. His number one concern was how can he relate better to the masses of the poor and oppressed suffering people of the world who’s lacking love, spirituality, economics, food, clothing and shelter but more importantly GOD. Painting now became a more attractive approach in catching the people’s eyes. Salaam discovered he could take the emotions and concepts of words within a song and make it clear as day to his audience on a fresh new canvas now considering music in a painting .
At the age of 19, spirituality for Salaam became his Number one focus in his life. He was a Muslim attending mosque meetings, studying the Quran, the Bible and books of wisdom under the Nation of Islam in America started by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and now guided by the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan, Salaam became more equipped as an Artist to become more effective in appealing to the world on a universal level. Salaam figured out he could turn the cultural revolution of the Arts into a systematic business; gravitating to not just African American people but different races all over the country. At the age of 21 The Artist became more knowledgeable of his role, mission as a man, and become more profound in his artwork bringing forth liberation to the people to conception artwork and commissioned paintings. Traveling across country attending venues, shows and profound events brought about a new impact to the Art world. Who is this young Artist? This question lingered in the minds of the art world at his current age of 22 by the time Salaam Muhammad discovered a strategic way to take social networking by storm with the messages that immediately stood out in his artwork. A Modern day African American Artist is now on the scene realizing the internet was not as popular 15 years ago due to social networking; Salaam is now in pursuit of taking full advantage to change visual Art into visionary Art and bringing forth a new profound culture of peace and prosperity in a brand new category.
His level of ambition and drive to make an impact stands out in the creativity of each new painting. A young man with vision higher morals and a foundation of God brings a new and improved reality to the world of Art like never before. Greatness, facing the trials of opposition Salaam Muhammad is the product of a new beginning a vessel in a new kingdom and an artistic example of a New World. One need take only a strong examination of his Artwork to find that his power and inspiration are products of his religious grounding and his amazing commitment to his family and peers around him. His love for music and culture, style, fashion, strong families and relationships as well as the love for his nation is a consistent reality you can see and appreciate in all of the amazing profound work produced by this visionary Artist. Salaam Muhammad.
For more information on The Art of Salaam Muhammad please visit: http://www.theartofsalaammuhammad.com