Although Skepta is taking a break from music, he is showcasing his contemporary art talents by auctioning his first painting at Sotheby’s.
Skepta has contributed a painting called “Mama Goes To Market” to a collection he has explicitly co-curated for the auction, which takes place this month. The exhibition, including artwork by Slawn, Omar Ba, Theaster Gates, and Ouattara Watts, will be on display at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries from Sept. 8-13.
According to The Fader, the British-Nigerian grime MC describes the painting as inspired by the fear that his daughter will never be able to visit a market in Nigeria, his parents’ homeland. “I thought, ‘She will always have to buy everything online. She’s never going to experience this,'” Skepta said. “So I tried to portray it in paint.”
Skepta added: “My mum used to carry me just as the woman in my painting carries her child. So I always planned to include these four figures: a young boy, two women engrossed in conversation, and another lady rationing rice into a bowl beside baskets brimming with fruit and veg. I designed their clothes too – ‘Nigerian Couture.'”
The pre-sale estimate for the painting is £40,000 to £60,000 ($46,000-$69,000).
In July, following the release of his EP, All In, Skepta clarified in an Instagram Story that the focus of his music would shift to production and that no new songs would be released.
“All In is all the music I have to give,” he said, according to UK Rap Daily. “I have no unreleased music. Feels good to clear the outbox. Sure, you all know, I’m a producer at heart, and I have so many ideas that I want to work on with other artists. Upcoming and established, young and OG. Skepta on production. It’s that time.”
In addition, Skepta shared his plans to work with female MCs, specifically on an album featuring only women. “And I definitely want to make an all-female album. So many fire female artists, rappers, and singers. I gotta make a hard 13-track female-only album FULL of classics.”
Check out Skepta’s “Mama Goes To Market” painting below:
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Skepta no longer has any unreleased music.
It looks like the new chapter of his career he was referring to involves exclusively producing for other artists.
He also has plans to produce an album full with his favourite female artists 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Q9EPikY8Rw
— UK Rap Daily (@UKRapDaily) July 31, 2021