Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright is an Atlanta-based visual artist and curator. Early in his career, he made a name for himself as an illustrator for hip hop magazines and as a designer for streetwear brands.
For well over a decade, Dubelyoo has been curating the traveling art exhibition called Art, Beats + Lyrics. These urban art and music showcases provide an accessible experience for seasoned collectors, first-time art buyers, beats and rhymes-lovers and today’s social media selfie-taker. What was once a one-night-only show promoting Atlanta art and music is now a national tour with over 100 art exhibitions and counting.
Each year Dubelyoo features up to 50 artists and works with many of them to develop installations. These installations are designed to expand the artist’s creativity beyond the canvas into an immersive environment that engages audiences. Dubelyoo’s goal for AB+L is not only to provide an exciting environment to view art but to exhibit works in which people of color can see themselves and connect with the whole experience.
As a visual artist, his depiction of urban life and culture has continued to be sought after by brands like Sony, Champs, Microsoft, professional sports teams and Jack Daniels. Dubelyoo can also be found speaking at workshops and panels on the topics of art and entrepreneurship.
As a curator, my aim is to produce art exhibitions that reflects and celebrates urban life. We take our shows to markets where they may not receive as many art and music events as some of the larger cities. Outside of having strong visual elements, we try to implement technology to complement the artwork and to stay ahead of art trends.
As an artist, I primarily depict images of African-American and minority paired with hip-hop references. Contrasting motifs like man-made vs nature and the past vs the present is a major part of my work. I strive to create images that have familiar looking faces set to a background that feels culturally authentic. I create works that attempt to include those who tend to be overlooked in many contemporary visual conversations. I’m no purist when it comes to media, I have a ‘whatever it takes to make it funky’ attitude when in the studio.
I believe the role of an artist and a curator is to create and to connect with people. Those roles have not changed much over time, but how we connect with people has. We have more outlets for expression than ever before. The challenge used to be being heard or seen, now the challenge is saying something worth hearing and making something worth seeing.