The divide between high culture and entertainment for the masses, and between commercial products and elite markets, is no longer clear-cut. The cultural richness Hip Hop has ended up offering to the world and its more or less new characters, demonstrate once more how powerful it is when it comes in close proximity to the official art world. As if to demonstrate that yes, the public accepts anything it is given, but also that if the beautiful is made available to everyone it triumphs over everything, hands down.
The Louvre museum in Paris increased its visitors by 25% in just one year, selling over 10.2 million tickets. How is this even possible?
The Carter’s surprise performance generated a lot of interest and a big chunk of the increased number of visitors: they recorded “Apeshit”, one of their latest videos, inside the French museum.
In case you didn’t know the Carters (this is the family name they used for their first album, “Everything is love”) are the Hip Hop legends Jay Z and Beyoncé, movers of the masses all over the world and the ultimate power couple. They smash online sale records, fill stadiums anywhere in the world and have incredible success when they put themselves behind any crowdfunding project, from saving the oceans to launching a new artist.
For more than six minutes Jay Z and Beyoncé move amongst the “Winged Victory of Samothrace” and Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, through to the “Coronation of Napoleon” by Jacques-Louis David and “The Great Sphinx of Tanis”, backed by a sinuous dance troupe, who alone resemble the installations by the artist Vanessa Beecroft. The video was shot amongst the gems of the museum, too often forgotten by Millenials who look for their points of reference elsewhere, on the small screens of their phones, instead of uncovering the brilliance that surrounds them.
They dance amongst incredible beauties such as the “Madame Récamer” by Jacques-Louis David, or the famous “Venus de Milo”. Jay Z appears alone in front of the “The Raft of the Medusa” by Théodore Géricault (1918, perhaps to honor the theme of immigration, particularly dear to the couple known for their minority rights activism) and the “Portrait of Madeleine” painted by Marie-Guillemine Benoist in the 1800s, widely recognized as a manifesto of feminism and black people’s emancipation.
Get it boomers? Don’t feel contempt for the new and get to know your origins. This is the advice of someone who apparently, knows what they are talking about.