Name: Eklipz (a.k.a. Leon Robinson)
Born: Toronto, 1973, but raised in Hamilton
Lives and works: As Eklipz puts it, “Rooted in the Steel City” (i.e. Hamilton)
These works: Eklipz is a Renaissance street artist — painter, photographer, digital artist, author. He told Strombo.com that his love of hip-hop culture "is fused into my work." Eklipz doesn't stop at hip-hop, however — he uses graffiti style to memorialize and comment on other famous faces from popular culture, from Miley Cyrus to Mike Tyson. His photography often draws on his personal life: QCE Maternity is a moving, carefully posed portrait of his wife pregnant with one of the couple's five children. Eklipz also uses digital enhancements at times, making a photograph like Dust Daughterz look like comic art.
How he chooses his subjects: Eklipz told Strombo.com that he's drawn to people who've made an impact on him personally with what they've done with their life. "Or it could be the character of their face or style."
His favourite project: Hip-Hop Homage, a book of 50 paintings of hip-hop pioneers. "It was a two-year project that forced me to be disciplined and draw and paint almost daily for that time."
What he's listening to: Crown A' Thornz, Freedom Writers, Shad, Lee Reed, Joey Badass and Slaughterhouse. Also, Eklipz said he's "always journeying back to classic albums on vinyl."
Tune in to the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Christmas Music Special on December 24 at 11:30 p.m. on CBC TV to catch more of Eklipz's art in our special cover of Run–D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis," featuring some of the country's top hip-hop artists.