The LK MNDD team, from Denver, Colorado, recently was given the rare opportunity to bring reggae-inspired street art to Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. Founded by reggae icon Bob Marley (Robert Nesta Marley) and the home to reggae music, Tuff Gong Studios is now the home of a living street art piece by LK MNDD.
With help from fellow artist and business partner Jonathan Lamb, fellow breddren Bali Vaswani, director of operations Marie Bruce and The Tuff Gong team, and the Rastafarian community in Kingston, Jamaica, LK MNDD artist Michael Ortiz created a portrait of the great Bob Marley. Ortiz drew from the music and lyrics of Bob Marley and the Wailers to create the piece, and specifically found inspiration in the live show “Live in Santa Barbara, CA, 1979.” The strong, energetic set of legendary tracks guided Ortiz through the paint session, during which he tagged Marley’s lyrics of revolution and phrases of freedom as he heard them. Tags including “Get Up, Stand Up,” and “Real Revolutionary” support the portrait, giving the piece an authentic rebel theme, as if the artist was tagging protest in the streets.
LK MNDD realized the levity of the opportunity quickly. “We’ve been doing productions all over but nothing this heavy,” Ortiz said. “Suddenly we were in the place where all of the magic happened and we felt inspired as if we were there to cut a track in the studio, so that’s just what we did. I started taggin’ all over the wall. we went in with intent and it all felt correct and meant to be.”
“After everything we went through to get here, the occurrence was a miracle,” Lamb said. “It felt good to be given praise from the people who helped — from the guys who escorted us into the heavily secured studio, to the security guards, to the crowd that gathered around once it was established that we were doing a production.”
The mural is now a living project, and Marie Bruce and her team has given LK MNDD permission to continue painting for Tuff Gong International and the Marley family. LK MNDD is honored and pleased to take part in such an important part of music, culture and history. More information is available at Likemindedproductions.com and michaelortizart.com.