G rowing up in Harlem, rapper A$AP Ferg found creativity all around him. “The community creates the art,” he said, “without the community there would be no A$AP Ferg.” An art student turned rapper, Ferg joined the A$AP Mob, a collective known for their heighted sense art, fashion and creative expression. (Another member, A$AP Rocky, unveiled his performance art piece Lab Rat at Sotheby’s in 2018.) Besides the honored modern masters – Rothko, Bacon, Goya, Picasso – and more contemporary artists like Kara Walker, Renell Medrano and KAWS, Ferg looks to the singular dynamism of Keith Haring. “He was so multidimensional,” says Ferg, “and I feel like that’s what I represent as well.” To coincide with Keith Haring’s Greatest Hits: The Pop Shop Drawings, an online auction of 12 drawings that formed the basis for Haring’s radically accessible Pop Shop, Ferg meets with Sotheby’s specialist Harrison Tenzer to discuss influences, upbringings and walking on water.
‘The Community Creates the Art’: A$AP Ferg Talks Keith Haring, New York Style & Creative Vibrations
“My dad was doing silkscreen back in the days for a lot of the major artists – Diddy, Loon, Ruff Ryders, 50 Cent, all of the guys in the music industry – and I picked up the art from him. He brought me into this world, taught me how to paint, how to layer paint. I've always been into it but he opened the world up to me.”