Art collecting is a hobby that many famous and wealthy people enjoy. Contrary to popular belief, they do not always keep their precious collections for themselves. Many valuable works by Black artists from the collection of the award-winning singer Alicia Keys and the producer Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean will be presented to the public in February 2024. The pieces will be shown at the Brooklyn Museum in New York as part of the exhibition titled Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys.
A New Exhibition of Black Artists to Open at the Brooklyn Museum
A notable feature of the Keys and Dean’s collection is that it is composed entirely of works by Black artists. The famous couple have been avid supporters of art produced by people of color for years. Apart from legendary artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gordon Parks, Ernie Barnes, and Barkley L. Hendricks, the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum will feature works by contemporary artists, including Lorna Simpson, Kehinde Wiley, Henry Taylor, Nina Chanel Abney, and Nick Cave, among others. Giants will consist of three sections, each celebrating the outstanding impact of Black artists on the world of art, hence the name of the exhibition. Overall, pieces by around 40 artists will be featured in the upcoming show.
Keys and Dean have long established themselves as patrons of Black creatives. Dean has spent about a decade convincing his friend and fellow producer Sean “Diddy” Combs to purchase Past Times (1997), a large-scale painting by the renowned artist Kerry James Marshall. Diddy ended up acquiring the piece at Sotheby’s New York for $21.1 million, the highest price anyone had ever paid for a work by a Black artist at the time. Dean shared in an interview that his talking Diddy into making that purchase was necessary to ensure that the Marshall would stay “in the culture.”
The upcoming exhibition of Black artists at the Brooklyn Museum seems almost symbolic. Brooklyn, in particular, is an iconic place for the Black Arts Movement: here, in 1971, African-American female artists organized a collective titled Where We At, which was one of the earliest, if not the very first, exhibitions of artwork by Black women in the United States.
Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys will become available to the audience on February 10 and will run through July 7, 2024. New Yorkers and guests of the city will not want to miss this incredibly significant exhibition.