Many relatives and frequent collaborators of Basquiat have made statements to the Daily Beast regarding the use of his paint “Equals Pi” in the campaign.
Tiffany and company. in the same way Beyonce and Jay Z were under hot water last week after their latest collaboration came under fire for using the Tiffany Diamond. Now, it appears that Basquiat collaborators are also vocally criticizing the campaign, speaking about the paint used in the photos.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z broke the internet when they launched their “ABOUT LOVE” campaign featuring Tiffany and company. The glamorous photos showed the powerful couple posing together in front of a never-before-seen scene Jean-Michel Basquiat table titled Equal to Pi, and with Queen Bey cradling the iconic Tiffany yellow diamond. “As a brand that has always championed love, strength and self-expression, we couldn’t think of a more iconic couple that better represents Tiffany’s values” Alexandre arnault, Tiffany & Co. EVP products and communications, shared at the time.
Now, it appears their use of Basquiat’s photo is being hijacked.
The daily beast sat exclusively with “close friends of Basquiat who lived and worked with the late pioneer artist in the late 1970s and early 1980s”, to hear their thoughts on the new campaign. Alexis adler, who lived with Basquait from 1979 to 1980, shared with the outlet: “I had seen the ad a few days ago and was horrified… the commercialization and commodification of Jean and his art at this stage – that’s really not what John was about. “
Adler also shared that the place where Basquiat’s art was exhibited mattered much more to the artist than the money he made. Adler continued, “Unfortunately, museums are late in coming to John’s art, so most of his art is in private hands and people can’t see that art except for shows. Why display it as an accessory to an ad? Loan it to a museum. At a time when there were very few black artists represented in Western museums, that was his goal: to go to a museum.
Stephen Torton, who has worked alongside the artist as an assistant for years, took to Instagram to express his frustration with the use of paint.
Torton shared in the post: “I was Jean Michel Basquiat’s assistant. I designed and built stretchers, painted backgrounds, pasted drawings on canvas, driven with a driver, traveled extensively, spoke freely on many topics and worked endless hours side by side in silence. The idea that this blue background, which I mixed and applied was somehow related to Tiffany Blue is so absurd that at first I chose not to comment. But this very perverse appropriation of the artist’s inspiration is too much.
Torton shared official statements to The daily beast thus, by saying: “They would not have let Jean-Michel enter a Tiffany’s if he had wanted to go to the bathroom, or if he had gone to buy an engagement ring and had taken a wad of money out of his pocket. . We couldn’t even take a taxi.
Beyoncé’s use of the Tiffany yellow diamond was also criticized when the campaign was scrapped, with many users criticizing the use of a blood diamond, leGrio Previously reported. A viral tweet read: “Tiffany put Beyoncé in a diamond – ‘discovered’ at a colonial mine in Kimberly in 1877 – that no black woman has ever worn before in an ad featuring a never-before-seen Basquiat, then promised $ 2 million in scholarships and internships at HBCUs.
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The post Basquiat Contributors Criticize Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s Tiffany campaign first appeared on TheGrio.