Last week it was announced that one of Beyoncé’s Vogue covers – the September 2018 issue shot by Tyler Mitchell – has been acquired by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and will be on display in its permanent collection (and rightly so we think). Beyoncé is a global superstar, an icon worshipped by everyone from all walks of life. Her presence on stage, in music videos and online is flawless and some might go so far as crediting her as a piece of living art.
The fact that Beyoncé is probably as prolific (if not more) than the Mona Lisa should not come as a surprise. In fact, Queen B has done more for the art world than some top curators and dealers could ever dream of. Want to know how? Read on dear reader.
First Stop, The Louvre
And we’ll start with a little music video…
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Beyoncé and her hubby Jay-Z completely rocked the art world when they released the music video for Apeshit at the Louvre in 2018. Dancing in front of some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, the pair shed light on the lack of bodies of colour in the art historical canon, countering it with their own troupe of diverse dancers.
Of course, France’s most popular museum got a whole lot busier after Mr & Mrs Carter released their music video, and what better way to capitalize on its success than to offer a dedicated tour? The tour lasts 90 minutes and stops by all the artworks featured in the video. You can sign us up!
The family photograph
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Días después de que Beyoncé y Jay-Z colgasen una foto en Instagram de ambos frente a la Mona Lisa en el Museo del Louvre de París, las redes se han inundado con memes de la ya famosa instantánea. Una versión intercambia el puesto en la foto entre la Gioconda y Beyoncé, quedando la artista en el cuadro. Otras simplemente sustituyen a la protagonista del famoso cuadro de Leonardo da Vinci por rostros conocidos como el de Kanye West, Britney Spears o el jugador de fútbol francés Ben Yedder, entre otros. #monalisa #gioconda #louvre #paris #beyoncelouvre #beyonce #luwr #paryż #bee #ilovebeyonce #ontherun #blueivy #jayz #flawless #museedulouvre #diva #drunkinlove #francja #france #me #paris #memes #britney #kanyewest #benyedder
In 2014, the Carters – Beyonce, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy – had a family photoshoot with Awol Erikzu alongside several museum pieces, also posing in front of the Mona Lisa (we’re assuming it’s one of their favourite works of art). Perhaps this served as inspo for the infamous music video?
Next Stop, The Museum Visit
Queen B hasn’t been shy about posting images of artworks she quite likes the looks of on her IG feed from museum trips across the globe. Just look at the lookalike she found at the Pablo Picasso Museum in Paris in 2014.
And here she is with Blue Ivy standing in front of fellow art-girl-icon Frida Kahlo.
We know that Beyoncé is quite the Frida fan, having dressed up as her for Halloween in 2014, something we can totally get behind.
Next Up, The Carter’s Art Collection
Word has it that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have an impressive art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Basquiat, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, George Condo, Laurie Simmons and Ed Ruscha. They also had two Damien Hirst paintings commissioned just for them.
Quickly, let’s take a detour to visit Beyonce’s Mom…
Yep, apparently Beyoncé got the art bug from her mother, Tina. In a 2018 feature with Vanity Fair, Tina Knowles Lawson gave us a tour of her home, full of works by African-American artists including Genevieve Gaignard and Toyin Ojih Odutola.
Now A Visit to the artist’s studio
Beyoncé has been known to collaborate with artists, photographs and writers. In that infamous image announcing her pregnancy with Rumi and Sir, she worked with photographer Awol Erizku to make the image as well as with writer Warsan Shire to create an accompanying poem.
Finishing at the Auction
In March 2018 Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy attended the Wearable Art Gala, with Blue Ivy stealing the show by bidding $19,000 on a painting by Tiffanie Anderson. She lost to Tyler Perry, but Blue Ivy went on to win another work for a slightly less expensive $10,000 by Samuel Levi Jones. The event was organised by Beyoncé’s artistic mom Tina Knowles Lawson.
In 2019, Beyoncé attended the Gala again wearing this fabulous Lion King inspired outfit.
Images via Youtube, Artnet, TheArtGorgeous, @beyonce, @gonzalezgustavoenrique, @miamiextrema