Martini: Christian Aziz Bishop is on his wayWritten by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a popular misconception that the stars are the entertainers when in fact it is photographers who capture the moments that inspire the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” On his way to being one of those stars is Toledo-area native Christian Aziz Bishop. The son of Rev. Raymond G. Bishop Jr. of Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church and a graduate of Springfield High School, Christian entered the University of Toledo as a graffiti artist looking to broaden his scope.
As with most college students, when he entered UT’s art department, he was unsure about his field of study. After dabbling in painting and sculpting, it was photography that captured his interest in spite of the “F” he received in his digital photography class. Taking a few snap shots of his own graffiti with a disposable camera, he went on MySpace and contacted his favorite photographer, Pieter Henket, who was responsible for Lady Gaga’s debut album cover. Henket could see the eye Christian had for photography and invited him to New York for an internship, proving you don’t always have to know where you are going to go somewhere. It was his first time out of Toledo, on his own paying dues by assisting professional photographers in an atmosphere surrounded by stars. It was this life-changing experience that opened Bishop’s eyes to the possibility that taking pictures could be more than a hobby.
This does not “just happen,” said Bishop, who is on his grind and is a certified “go-getter.” He has photographed some of Toledo’s hottest DJs and aspiring
Hip-Hop and R&B artists. His eye for photography adds class to his subjects and projects an ethereal quality.
A year ago, Bishop moved to Atlanta, found a community of fellow Toledo artists and quickly got to work. His first day was a scheduled shoot with rap artist MempHitz. From there he moved on to subjects like Barack Obama, Jermaine Dupri, Grammy-winning songwriter Bryan-Michael Cox, rappers Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Jim Jones and has appeared on BET’s “Tiny & Toya.” Bishop’s work has appeared in XXL, The Source, Vibe, Hip Hop Weekly and Ozone.
Refusing to be put in a box, Bishop is exploring the world of video, recently working with Kanye West’s new artist, rapper CyHi The Prynce. Bishop’s experience has been overwhelming, but you can still hear the excitement in his voice.
“I really get my inspiration from other mediums, not necessarily other photographers. I’m really inspired by painters, a lot of sculptors and the way they form their composition, because they kind of create it and I try to do the same thing in my image and my video,” he said.
Bishop sees himself as an artist finding new ways to express his artistic approach. After all of his accomplishments at just 25 years old, what does he dream about?
“A really big dream of mine is to come home and set up a gallery of what I’ve done,” he said.
Simple, and a testament to a humble charm he is unaware he possesses. Like his work, it is refreshing. See more at Christianaziz.com.
As we continue on …