2020 has been and gone, but just before we put it well and firmly in the trash, we just need to take a moment to analyse the artsy references in Beyonce’s end of 2020 video, which you can watch here on Instagram!
The wrap-up film shows the Queen B’s best moments of the year, and during a time where most of us struggled to even put on matching socks, Mrs Carter well and truly smashed it. While you may think Beyonce’s year would have been all music and home-schooling Blue Ivy, there were plenty of visual and arty shenanigans going on too. First up on our artsy tour? Beyonce’s shout-out to black artists, creatives and galleries including Awol Erizku and Anthony Gallery.
These names, along with several others like Devin Troy Strother and Dorseys Art Gallery – the oldest, continuously active, black-owned art gallery in NYC – were highlighted this year through Beyonce’s directory of black owned businesses. This is part of Beyonce’s Black Parade Route, which benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, which is administered by the NAACP, to support Black-owned businesses in need. It also proves that not only is Beyonce the queen of music and style, but she seriously knows her stuff when it comes to top artists to look out for in the art world!
Next stop, inside Beyonce’s home! Where we saw Bey singing along to her remix of Savage with Megan Thee Stallion. While she bops along to the song, we can see moody black and white artworks on the wall, giving us an insight into what might be found in her art collection. We’re pretty sure the image on the left is a portrait of Cher looking like an absolute goddess, anyone any guesses what the other photograph might be?
We’re then shown clips from the star’s iconic Black Is King film, which she released in 2020 and which can be viewed on Disney Plus. The movie was heavily inspired by African art and two of Beyonce’s seven co-directors – Blitz Bazawule and Jenn Nkiru – appeared in the film section of last year’s Whitney Biennial. It’s a real feast for the eyes, and if you watch the full film, you’ll see several art historical references from madonnas to Beninese art.
We then see a cute mother-daughter moment as Beyonce proudly shows off Blue Ivy’s narration of Hair Love, a gorgeous film celebrating the relationship between daughters, their fathers and black hair. The movie was illustrated by Vashti Harrison and was hugely popular in 2020. If you’ve watched it, you’ll understand why.
Finally, our artsy tour of Beyonce’s end-of-year film ends with a look at the Queen’s coffee table. Here you’ll find the queen’s louboutins resting on a pile of art books, most notably by a certain Louise Bourgeois. So, maybe we’ll see some spiders in Beyonce’s next music video in 2021…
All screenshots via @beyonce
Text Lizzy Vartanian