Wet Paint in the Wild: Rapper and Curator Vic Mensa Hits the Studio With Thundercat and Hangs Out at His Kavi Gupta Group Show

The rapper had his curatorial debut, "SKIN + MASKS", in Chicago this summer.

Vic Mensa.

Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild, an extension of Annie Armstrong’s gossip column wherein she gives art-world insiders a disposable camera so they can give us a peek into their corner of the madcap industry.

I first learned that rapper Vic Mensa is in fact a budding curator this Spring, when I went to Chicago for EXPO. At the time, Mensa was gearing up for his curatorial debut at dealer Kavi Gupta’s gallery, with a group show titled “SKIN + MASKS”, which features work by Josie Love Roebuck and Darryl Westly, now on view through 3 September. I haven’t been able to make it back to the Windy City to see it myself, but sent a disposable over to the “Wraith” rapper to see what a week in his life there looks like.

Bad boy of the Southside.

Starting the week at Garifuna Flava Chicago on 63rd Street—best oxtails in the city.

Stopped by “SKIN + MASKS,” my curatorial debut, at Kavi Gupta Gallery. Included in the group exhibition is wearable art circa 2015/2016. Created in collaboration with Franc Fernandez.

Thundercat with a pre roll from 93 Boyz, Chicago’s first Black-owned cannabis brand—founded by me.

Uduimoh Ellis Umolu at the Kendrick Lamar concert.

Stupid faces and stupid chains. Thundercat.

Friday—in the studio creating a masterpiece with Peter CottonTale and DexLvL.

In the studio. Thundercat is the best bass player on the planet. Fight me.

An old friend next to a painting by Terron Cooper Sorrells in “SKIN + MASKS” at Kavi Gupta.

Friday night—master of ceremonies after a panel discussion for “SKIN + MASKS” at Kavi Gupta.

CENTERFOLDS. Me and Chanelle Lacy, a director at Kavi Gupta, after the discussion at the gallery. We’re in the summer edition of Cultured Magazine and planned “SKIN + MASKS” together.

Original Trappers—my good friend the musician Towkio with 93 Boyz product.

Rare Talent—the artist and designer Mia Lee after our panel discussion for “SKIN + MASKS.”


8 Mile Style.

Incognegro at Nick Cave’s exhibition “Forothermore” at the MCA Chicago.

My son Jamal Malik X.

Cool style in the elevator at Soho House.

BARS!!!!!! In the studio.


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