Who Really Collects Art: Pt I Beyoncé & Jay-Z

Part I: Beyoncé & Jay-Z

“What I find in the artwork of Jean Michel Basquiat, I search for everyday in music. His art is musical, his broad strokes, he is lyrical and raw. Thank you for your life’s work JMB.” – Beyoncé

“I just want a Picasso in my casa, no, my castle.” – Jay-Z (lyrics from Picasso Baby)


Like many couples, Jay-Z and Beyoncé don’t always agree on what to hang over the sofa. According to a  Rolling Stone interview, Jay-Z purchased a Laurie Simmons photograph featuring “a noirishly lit pistol with a pair of women’s legs emerging from the handle”. His, wife, Beyoncé, promptly sent it back and  replaced it with a different piece by the artist, choosing a perfume bottle instead of a gun. After all happy wife, happy life!

Who are they collecting?

Damien Hirst

Andy Warhol

Richard Prince

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Pablo Picasso

David Hammons

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons

``Walking Gun`` (1991). Source: www.theartstory.org/artist-simmons-laurie-artworks.htm

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

``Cineole`` (2004). Source: https://www.moma.co.uk/buy/damien-hirst-prints/

Art Trivia
  • Estimated collection valued at $33 Million
  • Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” was “inspired by” video/installation artist Pipilotti Rist (Ever is Over All), arguably out-right stolen
  • Not only does Jay-Z name-drop famous modern and contemporary artists in his songs, but he also has artists design his album covers and features their work in his music videos
  • The couple paid $4.5 million for a 1985 Basquiat entitled Mecca
  • The power couple’s 2018 “Apes**t” video was filmed at the Louvre among the museum’s masterpieces and garnered some criticism for equating their personality with iconic art.

Ever is Over All