Alicia Key and Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) are showcasing their art beyond music.
Giants: Art from the Dean Collection is the first major exhibition devoted to the couple’s world-class holdings of works by multigenerational Black diasporic artists.
The Deans, both born and raised in New York, champion a philosophy of “Black artists supporting Black artists.” As Swizz Beatz told Cultured magazine, “The collection started not just because we’re art lovers, but also because there’s not enough people of color collecting artists of color.”
“Giants” refers to several aspects of their collection: the renown of legendary artists, the impact of canon-expanding contemporary artists, and the monumental works by such creators as Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi. Immense pieces—including the largest ever by Mokgosi—are paired with standouts such as Parks’s seminal photographs, Wiley’s revolutionary portraits, and Esther Mahlangu’s globe-bridging canvases.
The term also evokes the strength of the bonds between the Deans and the artists they support, and among the artists themselves. Along with examining these links and legacies, the exhibition will encourage “giant conversations” inspired by the works on view—critiquing society and celebrating Blackness.
Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys is organized by Kimberli Gant, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, with Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.
Th exhibition opens February 10, 2024 until July 7, 2024.