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Swizz Did a Painting of Basquiat & Jay-Z Bought It

Jay-Z recently purchased a piece of art by Swizz Beatz that portrays the image of iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat painted on a Mercedes-Benz hood. I understand all of the proceeds from this and a bunch of other pieces Swizz has created will be donated to a charity that benefits kids. Which is cool.

Some of the other pieces Swizz is selling also feature the likenesses of highly recognizable cultural icons, including Muhammad Ali and of course, the ever marketable Bob Marley. I grew up doing graffiti and SAMO was always one of my personal idols, long before his name became the default signifier for people looking to evoke an air of artsy counter-culture chic.

One of Basquiat’s paintings sold earlier this week for $29 million. Back in May, one of his pieces sold for a staggering $49 Million. His work can now be found emblazoned on sneakers and t-shirts. And there’s nothing wrong with any of that. Whoever controls Basquiat’s estate should get that money. And while I can appreciate that his art is being increasingly embraced by a wider and younger audience independent of the art community, sometimes I have to wonder if everybody out there dropping his name really understands the legacy or if they just want to soak up some of that cool long associated with his brand.

Anyway, this also happened. LOX!

Previously: Jay-Z Talks “Jay-Z Blue” | Swizz Beatz on Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail

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4 Responses to “Swizz Did a Painting of Basquiat & Jay-Z Bought It”

  1. HolidayKirk Says:

    “they just want to soak up some of that cool long associated with his brand.”


    Thats whats happening but its not a big deal, its something all great artists go through. After the wave pans out he’ll simply have a greater dedicated fanbase.

  2. J. Caesar Says:

    i agree with what you said eskay and radiant child was a dope documentary I never watched the Basquiat movie though with del toro and bowie

  3. MW Says:

    Eskay of course no one is paying attention to the artist behind the “chic”. Keith Harring is a perfect example. Look how many dudes got his designs on their clothing, yet wouldn’t relate one bit to the gay rights struggle – none the less be friends with gay people.

    99% is posers looking for a “cool tank with that crown thingy on it”…..ugh. The only promising thing is the 1% that will actually dig into the history and learn about the man behind the “bootleg tee”.

    my two cents…..I would like to add my view is that of a Los Angeles resident, a place where Jean’s name is not so recognizable as for New York youth.

  4. And The Winner Is... Says:

    Ya Gon Learn Today!

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