Amid the carved busts and collectible coins at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, there's a painting on the wall that fans of hip hop will recognize in their CD or record collections.
The painting shows the late Tupac Shakur on a cross. It was used as the album cover art for Tupac's (a.k.a. Makaveli) last album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.
"I'm the original artist that painted it in 1996," said Ronald "Riskie Forever" Brent. "Tupac's whole thing was that he wanted to convey was basically his pain and everything he was going through."
The painting is a map of that pain. Brent used a Thomas Guide map in the cross and highlighted cities of significance. One of them, Dallas.
"And now look where I am," Brent said. He now lives in North Texas. "I never thought that I would ever see my work being auctioned at this magnitude right now."
Brent was an in-house cover artist for Death Row Records when he painted Tupac's album cover.
"You know, I presented this painting to him and he was shot the next day," Brent said. "I have just this small piece of his legacy, so whenever people think about Tupac, they think about this."
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Tupac Shakur would have turned 51 years old Thursday.
"I just wish that would have never happened to him and that he would have had the opportunity to still be here today," Brent said. "It's a different thing to have in your portfolio, or your story to life, you know what I mean?"
Brent's painting, which is signed 'By Riskie / Death Row / Art Dept. /1996' is going up for live auction on Saturday. On Thursday evening, pre-bidding was up to $90,000.
"I feel like this is one of my greatest works," Brent said. "But I don't feel like I've created my greatest yet."