By: Yvonne Fyne-Nsofor
When connecting art and hip hop the main the image that comes to mind would be a graffiti wall on the corner of sixth and something something. It would be a stretch of the imagination for some people to place hip hop moguls at art exhibits. Two of the biggest names Jay-Z as well as one of his frequent collaborators Swizz Beatz.
Entering the art market for a collector is a slow process because those are investments you are making. Jay-Z actually has been in the art game for quite some time now making sure to solidify his place as a major collector. If you pay attention to his lyrics you’ll find the art references in his music. From Magna Carta, to Picasso Baby, Watch the Throne. Referencing his wife, or as we know her Queen Bey, to art that is worthy of Larry Gagosian’s attention. For the album cover Watch the Throne Ricardo Tisci was the designer. Outside the studio art work also adorns the walls in his own home, some of which can be glimpsed in the 7/11 music video Beyonce had filmed in their New York apartment.
There are a couple Hirst paintings that were made special just for the Carter family. Accompanying those pieces are works by Richard Prince, Tim Noble, George Condo, Laurie Simmons and Ed Ruscha. Actually right above his fireplace an Andy Warhaol can be found. More specifically the Rorschach. This won’t be only place you’ll find Jay-Z’s appreciation for Warhol as the cover of his memoir Decoded depicted a different Warhol image. Rounding out the collection is a portrait of one of his favorite artists, Basquiat. The same image fellow rapper Swizz Beatz put on a hood of a Mercedes-Benz.
A well respected name in the Hip-Hop world Swizz Beatz has helped create sounds with not just Jay-Z. He’s also worked with the likes of Beyonce, Nas, Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown to name a very small few. Since he grew up in the South Bronx he has always been a fierce advocate for the art world and he also possesses an impressive art collection of his own known as The Dean Collection. It is worth $15 million boasting pieces from Basquiat, Andy Warhol and KAWS just to name a few. The Brooklyn Museum has even tapped him on the shoulder to become part of their Board of Trustees.
Over the summer Swizz Beatz held an art fair known as the No Commission NY: Art Performs. This fair was designed to be beneficial for artists by giving them free exhibition space for their work and they would pocket 100% of their own art sales. “To show the world where hip hop started, I think it’s magic,” Swizz Beatz said while promoting the event. “No Commission is a philanthropic art movement, and we’re bringing it to the Bronx.”
For more info on "No commission" please visit :http://www.dean-collection.com/