Dont be mad UPS is hiring: The storm (2022) forms part of a series in which Alvaro Barrington explores the centrality of music as a source of inspiration in his practice. He describes these works as the result of his ongoing pursuit to ‘turn physical the music that I love’. The title references lyrics from Biggie Small’s verse on the song Flava in Ya Ear (Remix), as well as the cardboard UPS boxes that the artist uses as a framing device.
His use of concrete and the recurring rose motif are inspired by rapper Tupac Shakur’s autobiographical poem ‘The Rose That Grew From Concrete’, which explores the potential for beauty and fragility to arise from harsh surroundings. As voices for their communities, these two central figures in hip-hop culture form a visual duet in Barrington’s work, a collaboration that was never realised during their lifetimes.