In the heart of Brooklyn, the Great Hall at the Brooklyn Museum becomes a canvas for the artistic synergy of power couple Alicia Keys and Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, known as the Deans. From February 10 to July 7, 2024, their first major exhibition, “Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys,” takes center stage, offering a curated glimpse into their world-class collection that transcends genres and embraces the philosophy of “artists supporting artists.”
The Deans–Both natives of New York–have curated a world-class collection that echoes their philosophy of “artists supporting artists.” The exhibition “Giants” highlights a focused selection of their expansive holdings, featuring artists such as Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simpson, Kehinde Wiley, Nina Chanel Abney, and more. It was organized by Kimberli Gant, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant of Modern and Contemporary Art, both from the Brooklyn Museum. The Brooklyn Museum’s presentation showcases the Deans’ commitment to expanding the art-historical narrative, emphasizing works by Black diasporic artists.
The term “Giants” encapsulates the essence of the Dean Collection in multiple dimensions. It pays homage to legendary figures like Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simpson, Kehinde Wiley, and Nina Chanel Abney—whose monumental impact on art resonates through the ages. Simultaneously, it acknowledges the groundbreaking work of contemporary artists like Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi, whose creativity expands standard artistic rules. There are more than 100 pieces set to be on display from the couple’s personal collection, and it’s the first time they’ve seen all their art in one space.
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Within the exhibition, visitors will encounter great pieces, including the largest work ever created by Mokgosi. These monumental artworks are paired with iconic pieces such as Gordon Parks’s influential photographs, Kehinde Wiley’s revolutionary portraits, and Esther Mahlangu’s globe-bridging canvases.
Beyond the physical dimensions, “Giants” also speaks to the connections and bonds between the Deans and the artists they champion. It’s a celebration of collaboration and shared legacies that transcend time and space. As the exhibition unfolds, it prompts “giant conversations,” encouraging viewers to engage critically with societal themes and celebrate the richness of Black culture.
For Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, “Giants” is not just an exhibition; it’s a manifestation of their commitment to fostering dialogue, promoting diversity, and paying homage to the profound impact of Black artists on the global cultural landscape. The Brooklyn Museum’s presentation of “Giants” promises to be a transformative experience, inviting everyone to immerse themselves in the colossal narratives of artistic brilliance curated by the visionary Deans.
To get your tickets to Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, click here.
Cover photo: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Bring Their Art Collection to the Brooklyn Museum/Photo by The Dean Collection/@AliciaKeys/Instagram