T U P A C Unseen,is comprised of thirty-six portraits photographs Levinson made in 1993 and thirty-six original Artworks (one of each portrait, completed in 2014) each one an individual homage, for a total of seventy-two original works, a half dozen of which received any type of publication. It is a remarkable collection of work and quite simply, the collection of Tupac photographs and artwork that illuminates his serious, meditative and friendly personality, with depth.
Joel D. Levinson is an Art Photographer who has had thirteen One Man Museum exhibitions of his work, is represented in forty-two Museum Collections in North America and Europe and in the past five years there have been over three hundred of his photographs placed in twelve Museum Collections. As a photographer and designer Levinson worked for many major Hollywood Movie Studios, independent film labels as well as major and independent Record Companies.
In Levinson’s own words: I met Tupac in the summer of 1993. Upon introduction, Tupac greeted me with unguarded enthusiasm and a megawatt smile, that welcomed me to create photographs. To say, he lit up the room is both a cliché and a understatement. Tupac was an active collaborator, all Tupac needed was a phrase, an idea, he would open up. I felt that if you gained his trust, there was nothing he was afraid to show. Every request made was met with his full presence and a natural quality, encompassing both exuberance and introspection, that I‘ve found exceedingly rare, even among the most celebrated artists and celebrities at any age.
In the years since, Levinson’s appreciation and comprehension of Tupac and his work have grew to the point where he spent eighteen months researching his poetry, lyrics, books, every published and syndicated photograph and a great deal of what has been written about him.
I found my interest in Tupac’s work develop deeper and deeper with each month of research, and greater familiarity with his music and developed an affinity for this man and his work. What began as a six month, purely photographic project to publish portraits (the vast majority previously unseen and unpublished) to illuminate sides of this man I had not seen offered in any other photographs or images, initially developed into something that encompassed much more. Eventually, it extended into an eighteen month project, which further extended to four years and finally after seven years, it is being released first,as a: eBook.