Jaither West’s paintings engage with both homage and reportage. As an avid break dancer, he pays tribute to the history of hip-hop for inspiration, painting the personalities of hip-hop’s golden era. West also paints from current events and daily life, including political campaigns and his daily commute. His work has always explored the details of the activity and the people who inhabit or pass through the city of Philadelphia. He paints to record memories and draw attention to important but often marginalized moments in history. West’s work is a way for him to experience history, communicate his passions and honor those whom he respects. Within the past year he has begun painting on a larger more immersive scale. This scale allows him to condense and include more information creating a richer history and creates an environment for the viewer to physically enter. Whether about break dancing or historical figures, the paintings give him a platform to share the things he is passionate about with a larger audience.
West continues to explore the history of hip-hop and break dancing through his installation and mural at Space 1026. Each piece of information recorded in his paintings takes him down a new path of discovery and allows his stream of consciousness to explore whatever new topics open up to him.