Beyoncé and Jay-Z Pose in Front of Rarely Seen Basquiat Painting for New Tiffany’s Ad

Singer Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z are no strangers to breaking the internet with their work. So it’s not a surprise that their new ad campaign for Tiffany & Co. has not only made headlines, but also history. In one just-released image from the ABOUT LOVE campaign, the two pose in front of a rarely seen Basquiat painting titled Equals Pi (1982). The dominant color is turquoise and recalls the jeweler’s signature hue.

Basquiat’s painting is immediately recognizable as his work. It features his recurring motifs of skulls, scrawled text, and of course, crowns—a staple of the late artist’s visual language. This particular piece was previously in the hands of a private collector before being sold to Tiffany’s.

Although there is nothing to indicate that Basquiat created the painting with Tiffany’s in mind, the company sees some signs that he may have. “We know he loved New York, and that he loved luxury and he loved jewelry,” Tiffany’s VP, Alexandre Arnault, said. “My guess is that the [blue painting] is not by chance. The color is so specific that it has to be some kind of homage.”

The addition of Equals Pi is also fitting to be on-set with Beyoncé and Jay-Z; the Carters are long-time fans of Basquiat’s work. In 2013, Jay-Z purchased his piece titled Mecca (1982) for $4.2 million at Sotheby’s auction.

Of course, Basquiat’s work is not the only notable part of ABOUT LOVE. In the ad, Beyoncé wears an ensemble inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s dress in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She is also donning a large yellow diamond necklace—the iconic 128-carat Tiffany Diamond—which the company acquired in 1878 and rarely has on display. Beyoncé is only the fourth woman, and the first Black woman, to wear the diamond in over 100 years.

Aside from printed media, a short film was produced for the ad campaign. Beyoncé and Jay-Z worked with Emmanuel Adjei, a director who was involved with her 2020 visual album titled Black Is King. It will include a rendition of “Moon River” that has been “reimagined with vocals by Beyoncé.”

The campaign has caught the attention of many for its not-so-subtle references to Basquiat and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which are celebrated; but it has also caused a bit of controversy. Some viewers online have criticized the use of a Basquiat painting in this ad campaign, given the late great artist’s stance as an anti-capitalist. No matter where you fall in how you feel about the images that have been released, one thing is clear: the campaign has caused a subjective reaction and sparked a discussion about art, advertising, and entertainment.

The ABOUT LOVE print campaign is set to launch on September 2 and the film will be released on September 15, 2021.

Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z are in Tiffany & Co.’s latest ad campaign, ABOUT LOVE. Here are some more early release photos from it:

 

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Tiffany & Co.: Website | Instagram | Facebook
h/t: [ARTnews, NPR]

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READ: Beyoncé and Jay-Z Pose in Front of Rarely Seen Basquiat Painting for New Tiffany’s Ad

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