For the past 11 years, Free Richardson has run The Compound, his creative advertising business, from a compact space off Bruckner Boulevard in the South Bronx, where he works on campaigns for Timberland, ESPN and EA Sports. Part agency, part clubhouse, The Compound refers to the physical footprint, a bunkerlike space where Mr. Richardson hosts clients, professional athletes and hip-hop artists who come to use its recording booth, kibitz or admire Mr. Richardson’s collection of KAWS figurines, hip-hop ephemera, and N.B.A. memorabilia.
Mr. Richardson’s and Mr. Bey’s (his work partner) inaugural show is a survey of portraiture by the photographer Jonathan Mannion, titled “I Got a Gallery.” “I Got a Show.” Mr. Mannion has been something of hip-hop’s house photographer since the ’90s when he shot the cover of Jay-Z’s debut studio album, “Reasonable Doubt,” and his imagery is considered to be some of the most indelible of the genre.
Accordingly, the show leans toward New York’s homegrown icons: a double exposure of Method Man in Polo Sport made in 1997; a wall-size print of the Notorious B.I.G. holding an audience in thrall in 1995; a steely DMX holding back a pair of pit bulls from the same year; a black-and-white Polaroid of Slick Rick holding a bedazzled pendant over his damaged eye. The focus is a certain period of New York rap primacy and the way its legacy continues to vibrate.
The Compound isn’t necessarily a hip-hop gallery, and that name might not be strictly tethered to hip-hop. Upcoming shows include solo exhibitions of figurative painting by King Saladeen and work by Ron English as well as a sound installation curated by Mr. Bey. But hip-hop culture tints its worldview.
“The purpose of the gallery is to say all art is equal,” Mr. Richardson said. “But we are in the borough that created hip-hop, which is the biggest art form in the world, so it’s always an extending arm. It’s always present.”