Photographer Kevin Wong Talks Art Basel And How Rapper The Game Launched His Career
Legendary photographer Kevin Wong kicks it with AllHipHop about his career, his inspirations and his first show at Art Basel!
Celebrity photographer Kevin Wong hosted his first photo gallery in Miami inside the Rudolf Budja Gallery, presented by Rémy Martin, showing photos of artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Adele, Kanye West, Chris Brown, and more. Since his first shoot with The Game, Kevin has earned the loyalty and respect of some of the biggest names in music, who constantly welcome him in both their personal moments and public ones.
That’s not something that every photographer can say. It takes a certain level of trust for celebrities to open up in front of a camera and somehow, Kevin Wong has been able to achieve that.
An art exhibit during Miami Art Basel is definitely next level for Kevin, so AllHipHop caught up with him to see how it all went down.
If you’re at a party in Los Angeles, chances are you’ll see Kevin Wong there right next to your favorite celebrity, capturing all the best and priceless moments.
AllHipHop: You just hosted your first gallery exhibit in Miami Art Basel. How do you feel?
Kevin Wong: I’m truly honored and thankful for the opportunity to have been able to present in Miami Art Basel. It’s truly a privilege to have the chance to showcase and not often one can say they did their first showing in Miami Art Basel.
AllHipHop: Rémy Martin partnered with you to produce this exhibit, was this your first time working with the brand?
Kevin Wong: This is my first time working in this capacity with Remy Martin. As a photographer, I was able to capture Cash Day for music manager Cash (The Weeknd, Nav, Metro Boomin).
AllHipHop: What was the selection process for the photos?
Kevin Wong: The selection process was incredibly hard because there were so many beautiful moments to choose from, but I went with what I felt was right for Art Basel. Photos like The Weeknd dressed as The Joker for Halloween, I felt it would give people a nice mix of emotions figuring who it was. It’s not often you get to see The Weeknd dressed As The Joker.
AllHipHop: You have shot so many artists over the years, who’s your favorite artist to photograph?
Kevin Wong: That’s a pretty tough one to answer because all of them are my favorites. The fact that many amazing artists allow me the privilege to capture them in their moment: from their studio, to close environments is an honor. If I had to choose one, it would be The Game because he gave me the first opportunity back in 2014. He had seen my work before and invited me to shoot his birthday the following week.
After that, he asked me to document him recording at Chalice Studios in 2015, capturing moments with artists like Young Jeezy, Future, Travis Barker, Diddy, Busta Rhymes and so many more. He’s the reason I got the chance to shoot Drake for the first time in Compton during the “100” music video shoot, and he’s also how I met SpiffTV who invited me to shoot French Montana for the “One Hell of A Night” tour with Chris Brown. He gave me the first opportunity that led to so many other opportunities that I could have never imagined.
AllHipHop: Tell us about your most memorable experience from an event or photographing an artist.
Kevin Wong: Most memorable experience would be shooting Dr. Dre in 2015 when I was documenting The Game recording in different studios. I didn’t know where we were going and we ended up at Dr. Dre’s studio. That same day I had also met Ice Cube earlier, so it was quite an unforgettable experience for me, especially the opportunity to capture Dre in his own element.
AllHipHop: Favorite moment from the exhibit?
Kevin Wong: I loved seeing people’s reactions and them taking selfies with the photos. Someone even said “No way you shot all of these people and moments.” That’d have to be my favorite part.
AllHipHop: What are some artists or celebrities you are hoping to work with in the future?
Kevin Wong: I really do hope I can get the chance to work with Adele or Billie Eilish in the future.
AllHipHop: What’s next for Kevin Wong?
Kevin Wong: Heading into Miami Art Basel, I told myself to learn from this experience so I can grow onto the next. I’d love to do a gallery in my hometown of Los Angeles and of course work with people I haven’t worked with before. —