Recently we shared the first look of the Beyoncé and Jay Z collaboration with Tiffany and Co, for some exquisite never before seen pieces.
The campaign is gorgeous but has not come without criticism specifically about the featured Jean-Michel Basquiat painting in the background.
This is one of the photos in question:
According to the exclusive with People:
ABOUT LOVE also features a painting from Jean-Michel Basquiat’s private collection called Equals Pi reimagined in signature Tiffany Blue. Composed of mathematical equations and symbols, the piece is quintessential Basquiat, despite making its first-ever public appearance in this campaign.
According to WWD, the never-before-seen piece was purchased by Tiffany & Co from a private collector who had owned it since the early 1980s, with a press release from the jewelry brand noting that the painting was included because it art is a “common thread throughout the Carter’s love story”.
However, on social media, many found issues with the inclusion of the rare piece of artwork from the Brooklyn-born artist’s private collection, as the jewelry advertisement campaign marks the first time it has been shown to the public.
“They been hiding a Basquiat for decades just to use it for a Tiffany’s ad?” one person tweeted.
Another described the use of the painting by rich people as “gross,” writing: “Insane to me that rich people can just buy art from artists who have passed and no one else gets to see it, kinda gross [in my opinion] like these pieces should be able to be seen by everyone, that’s literally what Basquiat would have wanted.”
they been hiding a basquiat for decades just to use it for a Tiffany’s ad? https://t.co/LH0XiXbEu9
— phinneas flynn 💫 (@ScBayScJohnson) August 23, 2021
insane to me that rich people can just buy art from artists who have passed and no one else gets to see it, kinda gross imo like these pieces should be able to be seen by everyone, thats literally what basquiat woulda wanted https://t.co/GVb3lRSkAE
— 🌷💫 (@__lukec) August 23, 2021
The fact that they showed off this never-before-seen piece of art from Jean-Michel Basquiat for an ADVERTISEMENT doesn’t sit well with my spirits… pic.twitter.com/MOCpOukf8T
— Professor Wright 🎓 (@Savion) August 23, 2021
Not liking that shit at all Basquiat never got the full recognition he deserve when he was alive and now they want to use to promote blood diamond
— Tia Cruise (@tiacruise19) August 23, 2021
“Basquiat wasn’t the type of person or artist to approve of his pieces being used in an ad from multiple billionaires (uncontextualised, at that). His art was all about pain and beauty in low places, so, it comes across as a tone-deaf and flippant flex on his legacy.”
Others accused Jay, of wanting to be Basquiat:
“I just know Basquiat is in his grave WISHING Jay-Z would leave him alone.”
In our opinion, we do think the uproar is a bit displaced because:
1. Nobody really knows what Basquiat would have wanted in this climate
2. This campaign will give HBCU’s a huge boost based on the donations the Carter’s are guaranteed
3. Lets be real posing in front of the piece brought it back front and center to the culture – there are so many people Googling “Basquiat” right now.
4. This is why it is important to support black artists.
Oh and the brother was famous famous, and rich rich, he just died too young. Check out his archives on Instagram here.
Let us know what your opinions are! Comment below