Beyonce and Jay-Z recently debuted a new Tiffany and Co. ad that will be debuting next month, but it has already garnered some controversy. The ad features a long-unseen painting by late NY artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the New York Post reports that some art lovers are fuming about the inclusion of the artwork. The upset critics contend that Basquiat was aggressively anti-capitalist, and therefore would not his work of art used to sell jewelry.
Speaking with People about the ad, which is titled “About Love,” the A-list power couple said, “Love is the diamond that the jewelry and art decorate.” The painting that is featured in the ad was originally part of Basquiat’s private collection, but Tiffany and Co. recently revealed that it has acquired the artwork. Fans and admirers of Brooklyn-born Basquiat are not happy about the situation, and they are taking to social media to make themselves heard. Scroll down to see images from the ad campaign and read what people are saying about it.
they been hiding a basquiat for decades just to use it for a Tiffany’s ad? https://t.co/LH0XiXbEu9
— phinneas flynn 💫 (@ScBayScJohnson) August 23, 2021
“I’d just like to know why the actual hell a wealthy company and wealthy celebrities think it’s ok to use the work of an artist who attacked the corrupted systems that made them wealthy as an ADVERTISEMENT to gain more wealth,” one frustrated art fan tweeted.
The fact that they showed off this never-before-seen piece of art from Jean-Michel Basquiat for an ADVERTISEMENT doesn’t sit well with my spirits… pic.twitter.com/MOCpOukf8T
— Professor Wright 🎓 (@Savion) August 23, 2021
“[It’s] 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 [in my opinion],” someone added. “Like, these pieces should be able to be seen by everyone, that’s literally what Basquiat woulda wanted.”
“Ushering in a new brand identity, this campaign embodies the beauty of love through time and all its diverse facets” diverse is a synonym for black which I guess is fitting because the diamond is from Africa but yeah
— Zoé (@ztsamudzi) August 23, 2021
“Saw someone on here say Beyonce ‘once again elevated another Black artist,'” another user tweeted. “BASQUIAT??? You think BASQUIAT was some underground artist that was elevated through a Tiffany ad??”
Basquait would have hated y’all for this.
— Elsie Mbugua🇰🇪 (@yourfavbudtend1) August 24, 2021
“Basquiat is rolling over in his grave,” somebody tweeted. “But Beyonce & Jay-Z have shown time and time again that they are only in it for the money and they will sell out to the highest bidder.”
Jay Z cosplaying as Basquiat is hilarious to me pic.twitter.com/JBRQ3hzUB8
— Spider-Mane 🍥 (@yungseafx) August 23, 2021
“This is how art appreciates in value!” a more optimistic art fan shared. “Hide it away for Decade and then sell it ! Looks like a beautiful peace of artwork and With Tiffany & Co prestige may introduce Basquiat to a new audience.”
Now everyone is suddenly a Basquiat enthusiast? “He wouldn’t want this” did he tell you this via oujia board? pic.twitter.com/Y2YVd4SLxR
— 🧍🏾♂️ (@gardenoutro) August 23, 2021
“I am more interested to hear about that backstory & the piece itself rather than who is standing next to it getting paid to stand next to it,” one last Twitter user offered.