Alicia Keys and husband honor 'Giants' in new exhibition showcasing Black artists at Brooklyn Museum

Friday, February 9, 2024
Alicia Keys honors 'Giants' in new art exhibition at Brooklyn Museum
Sandy Kenyon has more on the new exhibition.

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Artworks collected by Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz will be on display at the Brooklyn Museum in a new show called "Giants."

The two titans of the music industry have been buying works by Black artists for decades, and the best of what they have is on view starting Feb. 10.

The title of the exhibition has many meanings: the art being showcased is made by giants in the field of painting, photography, collage, and sculpture, some of which is huge in size, but the vast collection is unified by a simple idea.

"This exhibition allows a lot of people to see themselves, to see representations of their stories, of their communities, said Kimberli Gant, the show's curator.

Gant worked with Keys and her husband, who collected the art over many years. She says their mission is about collecting art by artists they respect and ultimately wanting to protect these works into the future.

The couple own the largest collection of photographs by the late Gordon Parks, but most of what's exhibited is from living artists.

"They want artists to kind of go beyond their own limits. They want them to think 'how do I create something that I didn't even think I could, and yet I did,'" Gant said.

For them, this is about more than just buying art.

"They're going to studio visits, they're having dialogues, they're breaking bread together and really just creating a situation where they're friends," Gant added.

Every picture tells a story, and what makes the exhibit fun is its broad definition of what is art, which Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak says is keeping with tradition.

"The Brooklyn Museum for 200 years has been a trailblazer," Pasternak said. "We've always embraced all cultural traditions, and so this exhibition squarely fits into that history of celebrating excellence in all of its forms."

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Sandy Kenyon has the story.


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