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What’s He Looking At? Jay-Z Spotted at London Art Events

ARTnews
ARTnews
 2021-10-11
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It usually takes the first VIP day of an art fair for the celebrity-spotting to begin, but it looks like one candidate showed up early this time. Just days ahead of the annual Frieze art fair, Jay-Z made the rounds at the much-anticipated London exhibitions last Thursday.

That night saw the rapper and music executive at two high-profile events, the first a performance by Brooklyn-based artist Torkwase Dyson at the new Mayfair location for international mega-gallery Pace , where the gallery’s performance curator Mark Beasley captured a photo of him watching raptly for an Instagram story. As it happens, Dyson’s uncle, Michael Eric Dyson, is the author of the well-received 2019 biography Jay-Z: Made in America . Jay-Z also has a history with Pace: he recorded a video at the gallery’s New York space in 2013 for his song “Picasso Baby” featuring Marina Abramović and other art world notables.

Next stop, London: the opening of curator Antwaun Sargent’s Gagosian exhibition, “ Social Works II ,” the first edition of which was exhibited at the gallery’s New York space. Like “ Social Works I,” the London show spotlights the works of artists of the African diaspora to consider themes of public and private space. Sargent, who got a picture with Jay-Z for social media, and who earlier this year year guest-edited an issue of ARTnews ‘s sister publication, Art in America , is no stranger to celebrity; he was recently table mates with Madonna at a different event .

Jay-Z and Beyoncé are prolific art collectors; they own works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Derrick Adams, and many other artists. The couple recently posed with a Basquiat for a Tiffany ad campaign, and in June, an NFT that Jay-Z commissioned from Adams went up for sale .

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