In New York City, the Brooklyn Museum is currently hosting an exhibition curated by global R&B star Alicia Keys and hip hop producer Swizz Beatz, showcasing their deep appreciation for art. The collection predominantly features works by Afro-American and African-American artists, reflecting the rich diversity and cultural significance of the black diaspora.
Named “Giants,” the exhibition not only showcases the impressive scale of some artworks but also pays tribute to the influential figures who have paved the way for contemporary artists. During the exhibition’s unveiling, Alicia Keys emphasized the importance of acknowledging the giants upon whose shoulders they stand.
The collection includes renowned artists such as New York painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, and American photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks, known for their impactful documentation of race, segregation, and the civil rights movement in the United States.
Contemporary artists like Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, famous for their striking portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama, are also featured. Additionally, works by Meleko Mokgosi, exploring power dynamics and gender relations in southern African societies, are highlighted in the exhibition.
Swizz Beatz, a Bronx native and acclaimed music producer, has been instrumental in promoting black artists and collecting their works. His efforts have helped elevate the recognition and value of these artists within the art world.
The exhibition reflects a broader trend in cultural institutions towards diversifying their collections and engaging with younger, more diverse audiences. Curators like Kimberli Gant from the Brooklyn Museum are actively working to challenge traditional narratives and showcase the complexity and diversity of the world through their exhibitions.
As the Brooklyn Museum welcomes visitors to experience the Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz collection, it marks a celebration of music, art, and identity. Meanwhile, across town, the Whitney Museum is honoring painter Henry Taylor, further highlighting the richness of African American culture and creativity in the art world.