Swizz Beatz’s New Art Exhibit Is A Love Letter To The Caribbean

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A report by Danielle Kwateng-Clark for Essence.

Swizz Beatz is all about equal representation when it comes to art.

“You want to keep the heritage but then you want to also show the direction to the future as well,” the producer told ESSENCE about seasoned artists working with new talent. “I think a lot of people miss out, they only stay where they’re comfortable and leave it based on the heritage.”

Working within that narrative, the 39-year-old is excited about No Commission: Miami an exhibit with Bacardi and The Dean Collection during Art Basel. This iteration of his traveling pop-up exhibition includes 30 artists who pay homage to the Caribbean through their work.

The lineup includes Kehinde Wiley, Derrick Adams, Renee Cox, Nadine Ijewere and Karyn Oliver —to name a few.

“I feel like we pull from the Caribbean with a lot of different things, even with my partners Bacardi,” the Harvard Business School graduate said. “The way that we picked the artists with my curator was looking for those with vibrant work and some type of background with the Caribbean or did some dedication to the Caribbean.”

“I love that the artists like Kehinde, Derrick Adams and all of these guys, and all of the artists that are on super levels are saying, ‘You know what, it doesn’t matter who my work is next to. It’s the art.’ That’s like a real strong message, because most of the times artists are placed only in a certain bracket. This shows entry point is very broad. You can purchase something for a couple of hundred bucks or you can purchase for a couple of thousand, or a couple of hundred thousand.”

With all the talk of art, we had to ask the “Money in the Bank” about the recent viral video of him roller skating around a giant 22-feet KAWS sculpture with a glass of Bacardi Eight and a cigar.

“You know at the end of the day if we’re not having fun and enjoying our time that we have on this earth, then what are we doing it for?”

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