Jay Z is one of the most influential people in the world. The man is a visionary, so it comes as no surprise that for his track, “Picasso Baby,” Jay decided to move away from the idea of a music video, and instead create a piece of performance art.
Jay Z teamed up with director Mark Romanek to create something brave and unexpected (especially in the hip-hop world). Inspired by Marina Abramovic’s 2012 film, “The Artist Is Present,” where Abramovic has a marathon series of one-on-one interactions with visitors at MOMA, Romanek wanted to re-create this experience. Fascinated by the intimacy that Abramovic achieved, Jay set out to do the same – perform for one person at a time… with Marina’s blessing of course! For a person who is used to performing for thousands of people at once, this was truly something special.
On July 10th, a select group of artists, filmmakers, dancers, actors, singers, and New Yorkers gathered at the Pace Gallery in NYC for this once in a life time experience. Jay Z performed “Picasso Baby” for six hours straight – no lip synching; rapping completely live. This is a performance art piece after all, not a music video. The 6-hour performance footage has been edited down to a nearly 11-minute short film, featuring the likes of Marina Abramoiv (of course), Judd Apatow, Marilyn Minter, Alan Cumming, Jim Jarmusch, Jemima Kirke and so many more!
It’s like an art slushy. The smiles on everyone’s faces by just being in a room with this man is just beautiful. Enjoy.