Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz have their art show called “Giants” at The Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition runs from February 10 through July 7, 2024. The exhibition showcases 98 pieces by Black American, African, and African multicultural artists. This includes Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj. Also, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald.
Alicia Keys Started Collecting Two Decades Ago
Last but not least, and perhaps most significantly, the exhibition promotes meaningful discussions that honour Blackness. It also examines society, and envisions a shared future. “The Deans consider all artists in the show as giants. They have these very strong relationships with the artists they collect. It’s not about transaction. It’s about being stewards, advocates and supporters of these artists,” Brooklyn Museum curator Kimberli Gant said.
She also mentioned that the Deans’ goal is to inspire artists to work in all dimensions and with the motto “go beyond your own imagination”. Even the music experts themselves hadn’t viewed every piece in the set at once due to the quantity of the artwork. “We will not have seen these pieces hanging in one place altogether. This is a first for us, as much as it is a first for the museum, and as much as it is a first for everybody that comes”, Alicia Keys said in a video at the exhibit.
“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. In the process, they created one of the most important collections of contemporary art”, Brooklyn Museum’s Director Anne Pasternak said in a press release. They started gathering almost twenty years ago.
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Exploring Important Social Questions
Besides the traditional columns of the museum, there is a striking sculpture by Arthur Jafa called “Big Wheel” that reaches high into the sky. The work underscores “the coexistence of Black Americans’ joys and traumas”, the museum explained. Meleko Mokgosi’s massive body of work examines power dynamics and gender issues in southern Africa. Gordon Parks’ images of the Civil Rights Movement are among the other pieces in the exhibition.
There is also the religious iconography explored by Qualeasha Wood in her textile pieces, and Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s tribute to Langston Hughes. It is evident in room after room how carefully the Deans selected their collections. Also, how well the museum arranged their collection to create a seamless story.
“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. In the process, they have created one of the most important collections of contemporary art,” Brooklyn Museum‘s Director Anne Pasternak said in a press release. After the exhibition ends, the musicians will donate significant works to The Brooklyn Museum.