Who Really Collects Art

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Since the days of Andy Warhol and Studio 54, artists and the elites of Hollywood and the music industry have intersected in one way or another. In recent years, celebrities seem to be taking a more active and sophisticated role in the art world. Whether attending global art fairs, important gallery openings or auctions making flashy 7 figure bids, many of today's celebrity collectors are on a mission and they want the world to know it!

Bottom Left: Jay-Z and Beyonce in front of the Mona Lisa, Upper Left: Jay-Z and Beyonce in the Louvre (Apes**t video), Upper Right: Beyonce and Jay-Z dressed as iconic artists Frida Kahlo and Basquiat

Kicking off our series of celebrity art collectors: Jay-Z and Beyonce

"What I find in the artwork of Jean Michel Basquiat, I search for everyday in music. His art is musical, his broad strokes, he is lyrical and raw. Thank you for your life's work JMB." - Beyonce
"I just want a Picasso in my casa, no, my castle." - Jay-Z (lyrics from Picasso Baby)

Like many couples, Jay-Z and Beyonce don’t always agree on what to hang over the sofa. According to a  Rolling Stone interview, Jay-Z purchased a Laurie Simmons photograph featuring "a noirishly lit pistol with a pair of women's legs emerging from the handle”. His, wife, Beyonce, promptly sent it back and  replaced it with a different piece by the artist, choosing  a perfume bottle instead of a gun. After all happy wife, happy life!

Collection Overview

Location: United States

Focus: Modern and Contemporary Art

Highlights:

  • Damien Hirst
  • Andy Warhol
  • Richard Prince
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Pablo Picasso  
  • David Hammons
  • Laurie Simmons

Art Trivia:

  • Estimated collection valued at $33 Million
  • Beyonce’s “Lemonade” was inspired by video/installation artist Pipilotti Rist (Ever is Over All)
  • Not only does Jay-Z name-drop famous modern and contemporary artists in his songs, but he also has artists design his album covers and features their work in his music videos
  • The couple paid $4.5 million for a 1985 Basquiat entitled Mecca
  • The power couple’s 2018 “Apes**t” video was filmed at the Louvre among the museum’s masterpieces and garnered some criticism for equating them with iconic art.

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