Wednesday, December 1

Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Tiffany ad criticized by Basquiat’s friends | fashion

Close friends of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat have spoken out against the Tiffany jewelers ad that shows Beyoncé and Jay-Z posing in front of one of his paintings saying “it wasn’t really what it was about.”

The 1982 Basquiat Equals Pi work sits behind the couple in the campaign as Beyoncé wears a 128.54-carat yellow diamond, the first black woman to do so.

“I had seen the ad a couple of days ago and was horrified,” said Alexis Adler, Basquiat’s former roommate. the daily beast. Adler says that “the commercialization and commodification of Jean and his art at this point is really not what Jean was all about.” Basquiat’s studio assistant, Stephen Torton, said: “They would not have let Jean-Michel into a Tiffany’s if he had wanted to go to the bathroom or if he had gone to buy an engagement ring and took a wad of money out of his pocket.” .

Adler added that he was unhappy with the way Basquiat’s art was experienced. “Unfortunately, museums were late to Jean’s art, so most of his art is in private hands and people don’t get to see that art except at exhibitions. Why show it as an ad accessory? “

Al Díaz, another of his friends and collaborators added: “People think that his association with luxury was because he was impressed with that shit, but he couldn’t care less.”

In response, a Tiffany representative said: “The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted in a number of ways. All major works provoke thought and create dialogue. Equals Pi by Jean-Michel Basquiat is no different, and we are pleased to be able to share this work with the world ”.

The Tiffany campaign is not the first time that luxury fashion brands have incorporated the art of Basquiat into their products. His art has recently appeared in collaborations with Coach, Yves Saint Laurent, Comme des Garçons, as well as Uniqlo, Supreme, Dr Martens, and Urban Decay.

Others have said that Basquiat would have appreciated having his art used in this way. “Basquiat was obsessed with being famous,” said the actor. Julia Fox in Diet Prada’s Instagram comments. “She would love for Queen Beyoncé and her husband to pose in front of her art.” Fashion designer Daphne Guinness commented: “Having known him a little, I don’t think he bothers.”

In March, David Stark, president of Artestar, which owns the global rights to Basquiat’s art, said that the artists’ relationship with his commercially used work had been transformed since Basquiat’s death in 1988. He said Daily jing: “Not only is it accepted now, but these brand associations are expected in some way now. When I talk to artists about doing collaborations now, they are very excited, whereas 10-15 years ago, they were very cautious about doing anything. “

Jean-Michel Basquiat poses with his art in 1985.
Jean-Michel Basquiat poses with his art in 1985. Photograph: Lizzie Himmel / AP

Beyoncé’s use of the stone has already been controversial, with some claiming that it was a “blood diamond” mined by workers in colonial South Africa, before it was sold to Tiffany’s founder, Charles Tiffany, in 1877. Beyoncé, Tina lawson, defended the singer’s decision to wear the stone. “How many of your socially conscious activists own diamonds? I figured it out! “He wrote in the comment section of the Giro’s Instagram feed.” Well guess what? Did you go to try to check where the diamond came from? Probably not. ” Knowles hinted that critics should verify the origin of the silver rings and leather they wore, in case there were similar origin stories.

In response to these claims, a Tiffany spokesperson said that the yellow stone is not a blood diamond. “Tiffany & Co is strongly committed to the responsible sourcing of all of our diamonds. Tiffany & Co recognizes the difficult and sometimes checkered past of the mining industry and has been a pioneer and leader in advocating for responsible mining efforts. ”

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