Recent Articles
Alberto González Vivo talks about his art
Meet the Artist
Alberto González Vivo – 'I think if the work has the desired effect on me, it will have that effect on others'
5 things to look out for in the Celeste Dupuy-Spencer edition
Close Look
5 things to look out for in the Celeste Dupuy-Spencer edition
Lindsay August-Salazar on her inspirations, influences and ideals
Meet the Artist
Lindsay August-Salazar – “Art has the capacity to expand my deeper drive and interest in human expression'
Colleen Blackard - 'I want to build worlds to share'
Artist to Watch
Colleen Blackard - 'From an early age I found it easier to communicate with gestures and pictures than with words'
Bepi Ghiotti on his photographs of rivers and mountains
Meet the Artist
Bepi Ghiotti - 'An artwork is never still although what it represents might seem like it is'
Catherine Opie tells us how she got this amazing shot
Catherine Opie tells us how she shot this powerful photograph at the first ever women's march
Meet the Artist
Rey Zorro - 'When we went on holiday we’d put chairs on the beach to look for UFOs in the night sky. This was normal at home; we never spoke about it as being ‘out of this world’
Meet the people behind Assembly
Meet the Dealer
Meet the people behind Assembly - a new kind of gallery
The Artspace Art for Life Interview with Adam Clayton
How I Collect
The Artspace Art for Life Interview with Adam Clayton
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer on her new Artspace edition
Artist to Watch
'I was really trying to paint what it feels like to be living in the fall of human civilization' - Celeste Dupuy-Spencer on her powerful new Artspace edition
William Eric Brown on the latest Artspace auction
Meet the Artist
‘I’m most comfortable in that state of unknowing - is it real or imagined?’ - William Eric Brown
TM Davy on his benefit auction contribution
Meet the Artist
'Unhappy and happy flow back and forth like a tide making art. I’m working to be OK with that' – TM Davy
Anthony Goicolea on his new Artspace Edition
Meet the Artist
'I am most inspired by those weird transitional moments or in-between states where things undergo metamorphosis' - Anthony Goicolea
Jerry The Marble Faun on the latest Artspace Auction
Meet the Artist
‘It takes a lot of energy to tap into whatever is trapped inside the material - the process is like a releasing a spirit’ – Jerry The Marble Faun
Garrett Chingery on the latest Artspace auction
Meet the Artist
‘My interests include the relationship of one’s self to the world, surrealism and mystery’ - Garrett Chingery

How Basquiat Inspired Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys to Collect Art


How Basquiat Inspired Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys to Collect Art
The producer Swizz Beatz and the music icon Alicia Keys at Sotheby's. At right, find works by artists that the couple collects.

"Excuse me, Swizz?” a partygoer said to the rap mogul Swizz Beatz at Sotheby’s last night. “I just want to say thank you. Everyone’s dropping Basquiat's name in hip-hop verses these days, but no one’s doing this.” 

Those name-droppers include Macklemore, A$AP Rocky, and Rick Ross, who have all rapped the fashionable artist’s praise in recent years. Jay-Z bragged about the Basquiats hanging in his lobby in “Ain’t I” and Kanye West rhymes his name with “yacht” in another song. But Swizz Beatz has been perhaps the most visible supporter of the late artist’s work in hip-hop, and was on hand last night to promote a new selling exhibition of 30 Basquiat paintings at Sotheby's, up though June 9.

After posing for a picture with the fan, Swizz continued his story about growing up around street art, like Keith Haring’s Crack Is Wack mural, as a boy in the South Bronx. He left home at a young age after producing the breakout hit “Ruff Ryders Anthem” for DMX at 17, and went on to produce albums for Def Jam and Elektra records. 

“I was getting older and graduating in life,” he recalls. "I got a little success and wanted to start buying art for my house." He approached dealers like Enrico Navarro, Jeffrey Deitch, and Tony Shafrazi and “Basquiat’s name just kept coming up in conversation, so I started doing my homework and saw that the lines with me and him were running parallel," he said. "I was making music like he was painting—just making it out of anything, like ‘give me this broken turntable.’”

At the Sotheby’s preview, Swizz, whose T-shirt bore a black-and-white portrait of the late artist, said he had his eye on a couple of the works on view but needed to “watch my budget.” The artist’s prices, after all, aren’t what they used to be. “I remember when you could get a Basquiat for $600,000. Now you can’t get one for less than $4 million,” he said. Today, Basquiat’s auction record stands north of $26 million.

Just then a woman came over and took his arm. “This is my sweetie,” he said, referring, of course, to his wife, Alicia Keys. When asked about her taste in art, Keys replied, “I’m a Basquiat fan by default. I’m really an Erte fan.” 

That’s a good indication of the couple’s sprawling tastes. On their walls hang works from Haring, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Peter Max, Takashi Murakami, Sam Francis, Gordon Parks, and Lyle Owerko

Then there’s the art by Swizz himself, who has taken up painting in recent years. “He’s really good,” enthused Keys. 

“Well, I try,” he said, adding with a gesture to the crowd, “Someday this will all be for me, but I gotta earn it first.” 

 photo basqui_zpsa99cabb7.jpg


a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.