Bryan Blue, more commonly referred to as his moniker Blue The Great, is a multifaceted creative celebrated for his work commissioned by premier hip-hop imprint Top Dawg Entertainment.
The Dallas-raised, Los Angeles-based artist has garnered a reputation as one of the most versatile emerging talents to tactfully establish himself in the interwoven realms of visual art, design, fashion and hip-hop.
Blue The Great first got his start customizing sneakers for his friends in high school. Soon thereafter, he discovered how to apply his inclination to experiment and his self-trained eye for detail to all sorts of canvasses. He began exploring his talents as a painter shortly after relocating as a young adult to California, where he worked tirelessly to establish a solid foundation from humble beginnings and dedicate his entire focus to improving his craft.
After several years of putting in serious work, the 2015 BET Awards helped catapult Blue to a national audience. His work was placed at the forefront of the annual award show during a now-iconic performance from Kendrick Lamar, during which Blue had painted a cop car used on set in his signature graffiti-influenced style.
The fast-rising artist’s curriculum vite has since grown to include collaborations with Isaiah Rashad (The Sun’s Tirade), Beats by Dre (Blue’s Day) and various Top Dawg Entertainment projects, as well as includes large-scale murals for All Def Digital, the city of Compton, Long Beach’s Pow Wow and more. From his work exploring political and societal issues to helping translate musicians’ ideas into a visual accompaniment, Blue’s strength lies in his ability to remain as true to himself as possible. His individuality also relates to his outlook on art criticism, explaining in an interview with Mass Appeal: “For me, the general rule is that no one can really tell you what’s good or not. I just don’t believe in a critic or somebody saying this is good or not good. If you have a distinct style, it kind of surpasses the norm.”
Blue, who is known for his mummy-wrapped figures and praised for his intellectual statements on culture, thrives on reinventing himself and remaining true to his own self-expression. Because of these two qualities, he has positioned himself as someone able to work with a variety of companies and fellow creatives alike.
Both Blue’s visual art and Lamar’s music reflect the ability to capture the stories and authenticities of people of color, often making statements that call out racial inequality and police brutality.
Whether his work is making a clear statement or leaving its messaging up for interpretation, Blue’s role in connecting music with visual art is impactful, engaging and only going to keep expanding from here.
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