Tupac was just honest and real. An authentic person. Good and bad, I respect that – Marshall Parks
In our exclusive article series, Tupac Art Inspiration, we speak to artists who have been inspired by Tupac Shakur to create mind-blowing pieces of art! Not only have they been inspired by Tupac but they are also contributing to his legacy by creating pictures that will be passed on and loved for generations to come.
O4L Online has spoken to one of those artists, Marshall Parks from Portland in Oregon. Marshall’s artwork will blow you away with some of the detailing.
Read on as he talks about how many hours of work go into his work and what he thinks Tupac would be doing if he was still alive.
O4L Online: Marshall, what inspired you to get into the world of art?
I’m really not sure what inspired me. I was naive and thought it’d be a good way to make a living. To be honest I kind of regret it. But I was never really able to work a regular job like everyone else. I don’t deal with people very well. So this is what I chose.
O4L Online: Most of your artwork is large scale acrylic on canvas. Can you take us through what it takes for you to produce such realistic pieces of art?
It takes a lot of time and patience. A lot more prep work then you’d think. Each canvas gets ten coats of gesso before I start to paint. This is to give it a more interesting texture. Two coats a day for five days because of drying time.
Then 100 plus hours of painting. I used to try to keep track of the hours but gave up on that! I wish I could do them faster. I’m jealous of artists that whip out paintings in a day. My style doesn’t permit that.
O4L Online: The time you invest pays off as the finished product is nothing short of amazing. We noticed that you had a theme throughout your work of mafia bosses such as Gotti and Capone. Is this subject of interest to you?
Yes. I love that sh** and I don’t know why. It’s just what it is. Reading books and checking up on the mafia news daily. I like to paint dark sh**, nothing colorful. Kind of makes for a tough sell but if I did some happy colorful art it wouldn’t be authentic. If you know me in real life you get it.
O4L Online: We get that. In 2015 you graced the cover of magazine ‘Airbrush Action’ in which it shows you doing small scale portraiture on cars. We have got to tell you that the portraits are incredible!
One canvas painting that did catch a lot of people’s attention was your portrait of Tupac Shakur in the movie ‘Juice’. The detailing, even down to the gun he is holding, is second to none! What inspired you to paint Tupac art and what has the reaction been like?
Thank you. The “Juice” painting is actually a “sorry for taking forever, here’s a free one” for a collector that’s been very patient with me. But the reaction has been very good. Maybe most of any painting I’ve done. But that’s probably cause it’s Tupac. I’d probably kill it if I did nothing but Tupac paintings!
O4L Online: With the Tupac art, it is evident that you are a fan of his! If you were to sum Tupac up as a person how would you describe him?
Tupac was just honest and real. An authentic person. Good and bad, I respect that.
O4L Online: A lot of people think that Tupac would be still involved in inspiring people, not only in his music, but some have suggested that he might have even gone onto be president. What do you think ‘Pac would be doing if he was still here with us?
Yes I think he could’ve been President. Most likely be a politician of some sort. I’d really hope he wouldn’t be a part of all this anti-Trump sh**. I think he was smarter than that.
O4L Online: Tupac isn’t the only music star you have focused your artwork on. You have done portraits of Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Biggie to name but a few. What has been your favorite so far and why?
The Biggie ‘Jesus piece’ painting is the most significant to me, painting it thirteen years ago. This painting is where I found my style of painting. I sold it and my techniques changed over the years but I find myself coming back to that style.
A few years later I bought it back and kept it close by. I think it might be worth something one day.
O4L Online: What is next for you and your artwork? Do you have any plans that you would like to share with your fans?
Maybe some more Tupac art. Bigger paintings. Photography, I would like to do paintings from photos I take. Sculptures too, my studio is at a bronze foundry. But I have big ideas and plans. My only limitations are financial.