On May 10, A$AP Rocky left many of his Instagram followers in a state of confusion when the Harlem rapper began uploading blank images on his timeline. According to reports, the strange posts caused Rocky to lose close to 100,000 followers, but those IG users that stuck around were eventually able to view the “L$D” performer’s social media page transform into a series of abstract collages.

“This new experience is brought to you by Robert Gallardo and AWGE,” wrote Rocky in the caption for the initial all-white IG picture. Gallardo is the visual artist that assisted A$AP Rocky in turning the rap star’s Instagram into a digital art gallery.

Gallardo’s own IG page is an exhibition of his creative works which draw inspiration from Hip Hop culture, video games, classic cartoons, and pop art. The craftsman’s unique aesthetic complimented Rocky’s particular artistic tone which led to their collaboration.

The two creative forces partnered together to forge a social media presentation that included over 160 photos. Like the Great Pyramid of Giza, once those pieces were placed in proper order a timeless monument to the human imagination and perception was left behind for the world to see.

Robert Gallardo took the time to provide AllHipHop.com backstory to his A$AP Rocky Instagram collage pieces. The multi-talented artisan also discusses the acknowledgment of Hip Hop influenced art by the high art community, some of his favorite rappers, and more.

[ALSO READ: A$AP Rocky Confuses & Amazes Instagram Users With Elaborate Art Pieces By Robert Gallardo]

Can you just talk about how you got your start in creating art?

I was always artistically inclined but never took it seriously. Just like sketching in class and throwing it away right after. I became an “artist” at the end of 2013, beginning of 2014 when my big homie told me he could print my work on canvas. I started selling my work in January 2014.

How did you first connect with A$AP Rocky?

I connected with Rocky through the Internet. I made a piece to honor the late A$AP Yams. Rocky saw it and reached out. We got to work immediately.

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How did the concept of creating the Instagram photo collages with Rocky come together?

It happened organically. I met Rocky at a time in his career where he is very open to just doing cool sh*t. He liked my Instagram and wanted to try cool stuff with his. So we turned his Instagram into an ongoing art exhibit.

You also create posters and T-shirts. What was the inspiration for your Purple Children 6 Print?

First let me explain what “Purple Children” is. Purple Children is a series of chopped and screwed mixtapes I collab on with Slim K. The cover for the 6th edition was inspired by how society packages up our own culture and then sells it back to us.

"Purple Children 6" Print

Gallardo’s “Purple Children 6″ Print

Do you approach directing music videos any differently from how you approach creating your other artwork?

I don’t really have a specific approach to how I create things yet. I gotta work on that. I just move off inspiration.

Can you explain the idea behind The Adventures of Gallardo interactive Instagram posts?

The Adventures of Gallardo is an interactive game on my Instagram that’s controlled by social interactions like commenting, liking and sharing. The original idea was that we’re all controlled by social media, so why not embrace it and take it one step further.

After being shunned for many years, Hip Hop culture has become a big thing in high art circles because of interest in artists like Kehinde Wiley, Banksy, Patrick Martinez, Shepard Fairey, Alec Monopoly, and of course the fascination with Basquiat. What do you think of the “acceptance” from the high art community for Hip Hop influenced artwork?

I think it’s about damn time. I think it’s so important for kids from our culture to see how far art can take them. I think it’s time to take it further, way further.

Gallardo's "Chief Keef", "Young Thug" x "Trinidad James"

Gallardo’s “Chief Keef”, “Young Thug” & “Trinidad James”

You’ve created pieces featuring Schoolboy Q, Boosie, Max B, Trinidad James, Young Thug, Chief Keef, and other rappers. What was it about those particular performers that led you to use them as subjects for your art?

Everybody that I make a portrait of has inspired me at some point. Usually these people represent an important part of the culture at the time, so I want to document them. Like Boosie is the south’s version of Max B.

That’s why I did those pieces around the same time. Young Thug and Chief Keef are modern-day rock stars, so I felt it was important to document them. Sometimes I’m a historian and not an artist.

Who are some of the artists that you’re a fan of musically?

Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Carlos Santana, Erykah Badu. Way too many to name to be honest. I’m a fan of music.

Will we see any future collaborations between you and A$AP Rocky?

Of course, changing Instagram forever was just the first thing we did together. There’s way more to come.

Are there any other Hip Hop artists that you would like to work with?

Kanye West, Pharrell, and Tyler, The Creator.

What else is on the horizon for you?

This is the first time in my life where I felt like I have the world at my fingertips. I have the opportunity to try anything I want. So I don’t know, just more cool sh*t.

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For more information about Robert Gallardo visit www.robertgallardo.com.

Follow Robert Gallardo on Twitter @robotgallardo and Instagram @robertgallardo.

Check out Gallardo’s Instagram artwork featuring A$AP Rocky in the gallery below.

Click to view slideshow.
Filed under: Alternatives, Features Tagged: A$AP Rocky, AHH Exclusive, Robert Gallardo, social media