On Thursday morning, hours before a concert with Trey Songz at the BB&T Center, Chris Brown was in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood to discuss a different side to his creativity.
While a sprinkling of reporters toured the impressive 33,000-square-foot SPACEBY3 gallery, Brown emerged from his tour bus after a long shower ready to work.
Wearing white suspenders, can in hand, Brown joined friend and collaborator, Los Angeles street artist Kai Aspire. The two men flew in for Fine Art Auctions Miami's Urban Art Week. Their task: spraying a handful of pieces as well as a pair of Porsches to be exhibited through Monday, when the third annual Urban and Street Art Exhibit & Auction will be held to benefit the Arts & Business Council of Miami. Look out also for works by Banksy, Keith Haring and Shepard Fairey, best known for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster.
Last year’s event brought in more than $1.3 million, so this is a big deal.
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The Yeah 3X singer, 25, wants to help spread the word about this fundraiser — and is impressed by what he has seen from a few visits down south.
“Miami is known as like a big party town so for them to appreciate art this way is amazing,” said the Virginia native, who seems intent on putting his legal problems behind him.
Music and art are similar creative outlets, said the performer formerly known as Breezy.
“Art is an expression within itself. If I can make words for a song out of nowhere, I can create an image like that, too,” said Brown, laughing. “My street name is Konfuzed because a lot of people ask me, ‘Why do you paint stuff like monsters? What is that?’ I guess you would say it’s confused.”
A favorite project so far was with Aussie street artist Kid Zoom, who first taught Brown how to use a can of spray paint. “We did up one of his lofts in Brooklyn with all our childhood favorites, like Bart Simpson mixed with Ninja Turtles. It was kind of weird and deranged; that’s probably one of my most dope pieces. But some of my new stuff is coming to life more.”
Kai is enjoying working with Brown, despite all the, um, baggage that comes with hanging out with an embattled hip hopper who has seen the inside of a courtroom probably more times than he can count.
“We’re both young and have similar interests, but it’s not like we can go get a coffee somewhere,” Kai said. “There’s always paparazzi and TMZ following him around. He’s like Michael Jackson.”
Despite what seems like innate talent, Brown will not be quitting music any time soon. He’s in the middle of his Between the Sheets tour; a new album with Tyga called Fan of a Fan, drops Feb 24.
“I would like to thank everyone for supporting me on this,” Brown added.
Info on this weekend’s exhibit and Monday auction at http://faamiami.com.