Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

(via iam.beyonce.com)

Some thoughts:

  1. Do most celebrities get to enter major museums when no one else is around?
  2. Regular people don’t get to stand that close.
  3. The Mona Lisa looks less European than we’re often led to believe.
  4. Buzzfeed has lost its mind when it titles its post about this pic “No Picture Matters More Than Beyoncé And Jay Z Posing In Front Of The Mona Lisa: It might very well be the best picture of our generation. Or any generation.GTFO!
  5. “These two dumbasses in Louvre is like an archaeologist at a nightclub.” —Sarvagya Kaushal
  6. Who took the photo, their publicist?
  7. “illuminati conspiracy” —BetterOffJen
  8. What does it mean that two people who are soo establishment are still considered cool by fashion publications like Cosmo?
  9. Is Beyoncé going to rip this off somehow?
  10. Why isn’t Blue Ivy in this photo when we know she was there?
  11. “holyshitwhofuckingcares” —@joshperilo
  12. Why are their backs to the art?
  13. Kanye and P.Diddy did it first.

Of course, that image isn’t the only one the couple posted from the Louvre.

The Latest

Required Reading

This week, a Frank Stella is installed as a public artwork in NYC, the women behind some iconic buildings, looting Cambodia, fighting anti-boycott laws, and more.

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

41 replies on “13 Responses to the Beyoncé & Jay-Z Pic with the Mona Lisa”

  1. As an artist-educator I’m thrilled anytime people decide to go to a museum especially with their kids. They get something from it and if taking pics enhances their attention- then go for it.

      1. The flip side of the argument is that these celebrities lend museum-going and art appreciation a certain coolness and cultural cache (a fact that I’m sure museum publicists are well aware). Given that their private tour doesn’t really hurt anyone (beyond monopolizing the time of a couple museum employees), it seems like a fair trade-off.

        1. and, of course, just as with Jay-Z’s Marina Abromovic thing they are looking to get some of the seriousness and culture of art to rub off onto their work and their image.

      2. Not even a Beyonce fan, but the phrase “flaunting of privilege” seems a little strong, no? Neither of these two were born into their wealth, unlike many other people covered by this site that never seem to get called out on it. No matter how you feel about these two, these pictures are probably the least offensive ones of them you can find. If they want to post pics doing something positive with their kid, I’m all for it. Hyperallergic seems to like going after these two more than other celebrities for some reason…

  2. Can you imagine what a nightmare it would be for everyone involved if Beyonce and Jay-Z visited the Louvre when it *wasn’t* closed? That museum is already insanely busy, and they are two of the most famous people on the planet (with a young child in tow). It’s hard enough to get within 100 feet of the Mona Lisa without adding them, their bodyguards/handlers, and the inevitable swarm of fans.

  3. They…don’t actually look that close? You can see the flooring behind them, and they’re sitting on a bench from the looks of it.

  4. let em visit the fckin museum. had they come in with a normal tour… they’d take away the spotlight from the art 😛
    tourists would be takin photos of em, instead of watchin the artworks. most ppl go there to brag to their friends later anyways.

  5. *rolling my eyes* It kinda piss me off they can visit off hours, but artist can’t! (or an unknown artist like me anyway) 🙁

    Money talks…

    At least I can brag I have been shown privately Rembrandt and Michelangelo’s drawings with no glass framing… all for me to see and devour

  6. Is there any context or situation that you can imagine where a celebrity family would visit an art museum and the folks who write articles like this DON’T try to wax philosophical or make some grand statement about it? What kind of museum-watching experience where they want to take a pic of themselves would pass your litmus test for not being comment-worthy?

    The author of this article is waterskiing off the very big boat driven by Beyonce and Jay-Z. Be grateful for the clicks you elicited and let the the celebrity family enjoy their visit.

    1. I’ve been at art exhibitions where Lauren Bacall, Spike Lee, and others have waltzed in and out without too much trouble. I’ve even gone to movies at regular theaters with Mariah Carey sitting a few seats behind me (with her bodyguard, of course). I think most celebrities don’t get this treatment. It is curious to see and comment on.

      1. I feel ya. Sorry for the dismissive tone in my comment.

        Much of this celebrity culture becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s only a “thing” if we collectively make it a “thing”, and I felt this article was more contributing to make it a thing versus commenting on why it was a thing. But that’s just my opinion.

        I actually think the photo of them standing in front of the Mona Lisa is very striking. Beyonce’s smile is wonderfully similar to the one in the painting.

        1. Danny, I do agree with you. If we want to prevent celebrity from colonizing our consciousness as much as it does, it’s better to ignore events like this one.

  7. I come here for the art discussion— not celebrities. This is, in my relatively short life of reading here, your 2nd post on Jay-Z. Yes, he’s stepping into the art world, but how much press does his brand need? How much do you want to contribute to that? I do not find this as interesting as the rest of your reporting and I hope that it does not become a trend.

    1. Art as a contemporary social institution seems to me to be very much formed by its own celebrity culture, meshing quite neatly with the worlds of big money, fashion, and popular entertainment. Consider Picasso and Warhol, not as artists, but as brands. Or, as Arthur Danto observed, ‘Art is dead’ — a potent but mindless zombie. Still, some good stuff shows up by accident from time to time, generally in marginal situations.

  8. They’re not that close. Forced perspective makes them look close but we all know the painting is not nearly that big.

  9. There’s nothing wrong with getting access to a museum after hours so that you won’t cause a riot, sure. It’s the letting the world know about it that I think is unnecessary: why not just enjoy it for what you are there to see rather than for the publicity your shots will bring? Why not just go and shaddup about it? We all know you’re cool, let it go.

  10. “Serhiy Kolyada got in hot water with Kyiv’s art establishment with his ballpoint-on-construction paper productions, portraying Kyiv as a melancholy zone of shadows.
    Check out his Web site (www.kolyada.com) to see his nude or semi-nude women depicted against shadowy backgrounds of corporate slogans.
    It’s art as social commentary: gutsy reflections on money, power and gender issues in Ukraine.” ( “50 Great Things About Kyiv” KYIV POST, Oct 20, 2004)

    1. Well, you cared enough to ask ‘Who cares?’ And I cared enough to answer. Looks like we’re both caught in the vortex of celebrity worship. ‘Not waving but drowning.’

Comments are closed.