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“The 40 OZ Show” is a group exhibition of 40 underground artists who were asked to customize the bottles of hip-hop’s early favorite companion, the 40 Oz. The show offers an opportunity for art lovers to buy and collect art at affordable prices and will open at the MF Gallery in Brooklyn on Saturday.

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Each of the 40 pieces of art on view will be for sale and prices range from $40- $150. Real 40s will also be available for purchase and for consumption on the show’s opening night.

Introduced in the 1980s by Miller Brewing, the 40 Oz. has been referred to as liquid crack and blamed for turning teenagers into young substance abusers in the 80’s and 90’s. At hooky parties, cases and cases of the stuff would be on hand in basements and roof-tops, and would be consumed in massive quantities. RUN DMC’s own Daryl McDaniels once had pancreatic alcohol poisoning, and admitted that he drank upwards of eight 40’s a day.

One of the reasons 40’s were popular was because it was cheap and easily obtained and guzzled.  Store owners stocked the bottles because they took up less space on the shelves than six packs, and sold it throughout New York’s minority neighborhoods in The Bronx and in communities of color around the country, much to the chagrin of community and church leaders.

Nowadays, the 40 is seen as throwback to a bygone era, a novelty item used to add flava to an otherwise boring get together. 

After the break, check out some of our favorite pieces from the show. For more info on the show and to see additional images, please visit: MF Gallery.

ABOVE: Xian Lee’s “Hic!”; acrylic, gloss medium; $40

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Mike Maas’s “Lil’ Wayne” (acrylic, silver leaf, glitter, cardboard, pipe cleaners, wood) $50

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Fernando Carpaneda’s “Untitled” (mixed media) $150

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Bianca Panzram’s “Hammer & Sic-Ale” (acrylic on paper) $50

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Political Gridlock’s “Don’t Let The Ethnic Cleansing Fool You” (mixed media) $40