Here’s Jay-Z Dancing With Marina Abramović

Slate's Culture Blog
July 10 2013 5:05 PM

Here’s Jay-Z Dancing With Marina Abramović

The Hova is present.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jay-Z’s been referencing high art for years, perhaps taking after his former protégé Kanye West, but apparently today he’s decided to try and make some himself.

For his “docu-music video” for “Picasso Baby”—a track on which he name-checks more than a dozen different artists and museums from Jeff Koons to the Tate Modern and declares, “I’m the modern day Pablo Picasso, baby”—he’s currently in the middle of a six-hour performance art piece, rapping face-to-face with visitors one-by-one, in the style of Marina Abramović’s The Artist Is Present. (Though Abramović’s performance didn’t involve the artist showing off her flow.) The stunt also resembles The National’s six-hour performance of “Sorrow” at MoMA PS1 just a couple months ago, though the indie rock band wasn’t seen moping one-by-one into their fans’ faces.

If there was any doubt left about Jay’s inspiration, Abramović has shown up herself, and has been filmed dancing around with Hova.

Abramović isn’t the only celeb artist in the building. Lena Dunham’s mom has also shown up, to the befuddlement of her daughter.


And presumably it’s only a matter of time before the arrival of James Franco.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


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