Earlier this month, Jay-Z set up a daylong operation at Pace Gallery in Chelsea, where he rapped at members of the art world for six hours. Participants included Lawrence Weiner, Mickalene Thomas, Klaus Biesenbach, and the grandmother of performance art, Marina Abramović, among many others. The result, his “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film,” directed by Mark Romanek, will air this Friday, August 2, at 11 pm Eastern time on HBO.
CHICAGO — Every performance online and off is essentially about energy. Marina Abramović knows this, and so after her 2010 endurance-based performance at MoMA “The Artist is Present,” she disappeared in order to train with shamans in Brazil where she learned more about energy, and took time to heal. After reading fellow Hyperallergic reporter Jillian Steinhauer’s “Jay-Z Raps at Marina Abramović, or the Day Performance Art Died” last week, however, I’ve been thinking about the idea of the artist’s brand as being present rather than the artist herself, and how that affects Marina’s arguably new-age-y reasonings around “energy” and being present.
Last night, rumors started circulating about Jay-Z doing some kind of Rajnar-Kjartansson-meets-Marina Abramović performance art mashup, in which he would rap his new art-inspired song “Picasso Baby” at a rotating cast of hand-picked art-world individuals continuously for a few hours.
TORONTO — Appropriation and amalgamation take center stage at “Beat Nation,” organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and currently on view at The Power Plant in Toronto, a show focusing on the influence of hip hop culture in Aboriginal contemporary art.
For too long there has been a large divide (whether real or imagined) between visual art and music. After all, what we came to call art most likely formed out of traditional ceremonies with music, dance, shrines, costumes, and ritual objects all working together. Now, that boundary is collapsing again.
YouTube star and art-world explainer Hennesy Youngman records a rant about artists’ personal mythologies, the tall tales that serve as the background for many art superstars. Besides a lesson in hagiography, this video serves up an awesome comparison of myth-making practices between rapper Jay-Z and artist Joseph Beuys.
And art continues its march into mainstream pop culture … with the newly released/leaked (who can tell anymore) Kanye West track featuring Jay-Z, “That’s My Bitch,” which includes the following artful references to Basquiat, Picasso, Mona Lisa, and Larry Gagosian.
Yesterday, PBS talk show host, Charlie Rose, interviewed musician Jay-Z at the Brooklyn Museum. The hip hop star is promoting his new book, Decoded, which, in addition to telling his personal story and decoding his lyric, includes unconventional typography, line drawings, and photographs, which according to a review emphasizes “the author’s message that rap is a form that transcends and defies easy categorization.”