Artist Alex Melamid Paints 50 Cent in Brood Strokes

Alex Melamid's 50 Cent (2005) Photo: Courtesy of Forum Gallery

In Russia, artist Alex Melamid and his partner-in-art Vitaly Komar are revolutionaries, founders of what’s known as the Soviet Realist Pop Art movement, in which they satirized Socialist Realism (overly sunny paintings with titles like "Roses for Stalin," which are beloved mostly by geriatric Communists). The two no longer collaborate, but Melamid continues to paint, thankfully. In his latest show at Forum Gallery (through March 14), he renders rappers like Snoop, Kanye, and, here, Fifty Cent, brooding.