In Memory of Tupac

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Photographer Shawn Mortensen on Tupac Shakur

Tupac was such an amazing guy that really from the moment I met him I was sure that he was gonna be a superstar. He was an incredibly bright man, beyond being very articulate. He understood that I was trying to do high concept stuff, provocative imagery with a purpose. Trying to get people’s attention and pictures to make people think. So he put the jacket on and he was acting kind of crazy. And I admonished him, and I said, I’ve spent a day with you. You are not crazy. You’re a really conscious, together dude. I was like, I want you to wear this straitjacket like a suit. ’Cause I want this image to be about oppression and how people are confined, whether it’s stereotypes or racism or the myriad different levels of oppression in our society. I want you to look at me and show me how serious you are and purposeful and wear that jacket like a suit. And that’s when it really came together ’cause he totally got the concept at that point. So I have a bunch of pictures of him yelling and acting like he was in a loony bin, but I never ended up publishing any of those ’cause it wasn’t what I was after.”

Filed under shawn mortensen tupac tupac shakur 2pac vibe magazine vibe cover photographer 1993

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