JAY Z “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”

Jay Z’s six hour showing last month at New York’s Pace gallery, “Picasso baby” premiered on HBO labeled as “Performance art movie.”

The Mark Romanek directed feature put-together is a brilliant 10 minute clip. The video captures the essence of Jay’z Magna Carta, elaborating on some of the source material’s concepts (“For you to see, I’m the modern day Pablo, Picasso baby,” is the takeaway from the Magna Carta Holy Grail track.)

Jay Z taps to a variety of different artists that include but are not limited to art dealers, writers, and performers. He manages to also place a couple of “normal” people into the video clip in an attempt to “unify the art” in a sense, (not his best attempt).

However, can it really be called “an art performance”?

After all, we all know this Jay Z’s promoting his new album in a new “artsy” perspective. Kanye West does it with his hour-long music clips and here’s Jay Z following in the same footsteps. Jay Z tries to assert his “artistry” in his video’s intro, explaining that “We are artists, we’re alike, we’re cousins. That’s what’s really exciting for me: bringing the worlds back together.”

He explains how art galleries have built a wall between “art” and the mass culture, that people who are into the hip-hop scene are disconnected from fine art because it usually observed as being “too bourgeois.”

“It’s a collection of precious moments like Jay flubbing his words, Jay doing a half-hearted riff on Kid n Play’s Funky Charleston with artist Rashid Jones, and Marina Abramovic exercising her craft of intense staring.” is one reviewer’s opinion. He adds, “this is largely a celebration for and of the celebrated. This isn’t a tearing down of the bourgeoisie, it’s a restructuring. This isn’t for the people; it’s for the special people.”

Art or not art, I was thoroughly entertained. Watch the clip below.

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