DNAinfo:  DJ Kool Herc Kicks Off Fine Arts Exhibit in The Bronx by Eddie Small

CONCOURSE — The man who pioneered hip-hop is helping local artists build The Bronx's reputation for another art form.

DJ Kool Herc will rock the mic Oct. 24 at "Quintessential," a new exhibit by TAG Public Arts Project featuring fine art pieces from across the borough.

The group, which has already been working on creating murals, will display more than 30 pieces from artists such as J. "SinXero" Beltran, James "Sexer" Rodriguez, Luis "Zimad" Lamboy, John "Crash" Matos and COPE2.

"We wanted to bring the top notch work to The Bronx, where they might not always get out to get to the Chelsea galleries," Rodriguez said.

The show opens Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Andrew Freedman Complex's BARCID Gallery, located at 1125 Grand Concourse, and runs for up to a month.

"It’s free. It’s open to the general public.," said Beltran, founder and president of TAG. "This is something that we want everyone to be able to experience from all over, from all the boroughs. Everyone is welcome to come."

Beltran described Kool Herc as a perfect fit, since many artists featured in "Quintessential" started painting around the same time he started making music.

"Listening to that stuff and being in a room where all that is on exhibit is just going to captivate people and take them on a journey where they’re like, 'Oh, man, I remember when that style and that technique was out there in the 70s or 80s,'" he said.

Paintings come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from pop to abstract to urban, according to Rodriguez.

He will debut a new series at the gallery called "Concrete Jungle," featuring scenes of New York City with animals like giraffes, elephants and monkeys in place of humans.

"It’s a fun series. I’m excited about it," he said. "It's probably one of my best works to date, actually."

Beltran said he wanted to show people that The Bronx has a strong and accomplished community of artists on par with any other part of New York City.

"BrooklynLong Island City, they have their own thriving cultural arts scenes," he said. "But now, here we come."

Rodriguez agreed and hoped gallery visitors got the message that The Bronx has been and remains a destination for artistic talent.

"We have produced many, many, many prominent artists," he said. "And we’re still a force to be reckoned with."