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Power Couple Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Will Showcase Their Art Collection at the Brooklyn Museum

Feb 10–Jul 7, 2024 | The Brooklyn Museum

This coming February, the Brooklyn Museum will showcase a significant selection of their artwork in Giants, an exhibition emphasizing the couple’s passion for supporting Black American, African and African diasporic artists.


Ebony G. Patterson (born Kingston, Jamaica, 1981). . . . they were just hanging out . . . you know . . . talking about . . . ( . . . when they grow up . . .), 2016. Beads, appliqués, fabric, glitter, buttons, costume jewelry, trimming, rhinestones, glue on digital print on hand-cut matte photo paper, 90 × 224 in. (228.6 × 569 cm). The Dean Collection, courtesy of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. © Ebony G. Patterson. Courtesy of the artist, Monique Meloche Gallery, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. (Photo: Adam Reich
Ebony G. Patterson (born Kingston, Jamaica, 1981). . . . they were just hanging out . . . you know . . . talking about . . . ( . . . when they grow up . . .), 2016. Beads, appliqués, fabric, glitter, buttons, costume jewelry, trimming, rhinestones, glue on digital print on hand-cut matte photo paper, 90 × 224 in. (228.6 × 569 cm). The Dean Collection, courtesy of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. © Ebony G. Patterson. Courtesy of the artist, Monique Meloche Gallery, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. (Photo: Adam Reich)

“Giants” refers to several aspects of their collection: the renown of legendary artists, the impact of canon-expanding contemporary artists, and the monumental works by such creators as Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi. Immense pieces—including the largest ever by Mokgosi—are paired with standouts such as Parks’s seminal photographs, Wiley’s revolutionary portraits, and Esther Mahlangu’s globe-bridging canvases.


The term also evokes the strength of the bonds between the Deans and the artists they support, and among the artists themselves. Along with examining these links and legacies, the exhibition will encourage “giant conversations” inspired by the works on view—critiquing society and celebrating Blackness.


The art accumulated by Keys and Beatz represents “one of the most important collections of contemporary art,” according to a statement by Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum. “Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys have been among the most vocal advocates for Black creatives to support Black artists through their collecting, advocacy, and partnerships,” she said.


Kwame Brathwaite, Untitled (Model who embraced natural hairstyles at AJASS photoshoot) (c. 1970, printed 2018). Photo courtesy of the Dean Collection, Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys.
Kwame Brathwaite, Untitled (Model who embraced natural hairstyles at AJASS photoshoot) (c. 1970, printed 2018). Photo courtesy of the Dean Collection, Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys.


Keys and Beatz have supported artists through initiatives like their 2017 launch of an informal artist residency in Arizona. Much of their work has focused on ensuring that artists receive royalties for artwork sold on the secondary market—in addition to lobbying for auction houses like Sotheby’s to devote a percentage of sale proceeds to artists. In 2015 they launched an art fair called No Commission which gives 100 percent of the proceeds to creators.


For More Information, View The Brooklyn Museum

 

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