Beyonce, Jay Z Causes Heated Debate Over a Painting, Giant Diamond — Why Are People Mad?
Beyonce and Jay Z are making headlines because of their "Tiffany & Co." campaign for all the good reasons, but there are also fans who think their lavish appearance and flaunt of wealth may be insensitive.
According to Buzz Feed, the multi-million couple posed in front of an unseen painting from renowned artist Jean-Michael Basquiat titled "Equals Pi," completed in 1982.
Per ART News, the artwork is meant to embody and recall the brand's iconic "Tiffany blue color." The piece also features Basquiat's recognizable art style, like skulls and scrawled text with different phrases. (check out the painting below)
"Equals Pi" was reportedly owned by two other designers in the past, Alberto and Stefania Sabbadini. It was acquired by "Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE" from a private seller.
As the couple's campaign images circulated online, many critics judged them negatively as they were accused of flaunting wealth.
"insane to me that rich people can just buy art from artists who have passed and no one else gets to see it, kinda gross imo like these pieces should be able to be seen by everyone, thats literally what basquiat woulda wanted," one fan wrote.
Other fans also pointed out that the painting should be kept and shouldn't be used in advertisements.
"they been hiding a basquiat for decades just to use it for a Tiffany's ad?" One wrote.
Even though "Equals Pi" is privately owned by "Tiffany & Co." Jay Z himself also has a Basquiat painting titled "Mecca," which reportedly costs $4.5 million.
Basquiat Painting Is Not The Only Issue
Despite catching a lot of heat from the public since their ad circulated all over social media, other people pointed out that there's a more significant issue.
Beyonce is the first black woman ever to wear the iconic giant "Tiffany Diamond," as white celebrities previously wore it in the past.
However, fans stated that the prestigious jewelry has a tragic past of "grotesque explotation" of African resources and Black labor.
"My anger at this Tiffany's ad w/Beyoncé and J keeps deepening and and I'm so furious I don't know what to do. I keep thinking about the hands of African children who were forced to dig these rocks out the earth, and Basquiat's unmoving stance on capitalism and colonialism." one tweeted.