Thanks to producer extraordinaire Swizz Beatz, the art world is no longer exclusive, invite-only community dedicated to the whos-who. Swizz, born Kasseem Dean, isn’t focusing on his own art, but helping others get the recognition they deserve.
Part of the Canon Rebel With A Cause campaign, the project is helping break down walls and open up opportunities for amazing undiscovered artists, sans politics—giving rising talents in the art world the chance to see their dreams come true in a unique way.
Plastered against the walls of both the Brooklyn Museum and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, artists showcased their work via projector to New Yorkers, giving a voice to NY artists.
Fresh off of his No Commission Art Fair at Art Basel, Swizz collaborated with Canon to create an art show featuring select works at Sotheby’s Auction House, where Swizz announced a silent auction early February.
The Source caught up with the Hip Hop staple to discuss the ‘The Unknowns,’ what he thought of this year Grammy Awards and what we can expect from him musically.
Everyone knows you for your musical talent, but you’re an avid art collector. What was the inspiration behind collecting art?
In the beginning I can say I was collecting for the wrong reasons. I was young and a couple of guys took advantage of me. I was collecting for status. Now I find my own artwork, often though Instagram. I’ll D.M., send comments… I don’t let anyone else touch my Instagram. It’s a great pleasure to discover up-and-comers, artists that I can speak to, have dinner with at our home, artists that our children can meet.
What makes art important to you and the community?
Art is for everyone. And that’s what made me start showcasing more affordable artists, new artists that galleries might never show. The Dean Collection is all about giving 100% of the proceeds to the artists. It’s really important we start celebrating each other more, so I strongly encourage everyone to check out #TheUnknowns.
You hosted a silent auction with ‘The Unknowns’ artwork. Describe the collection and why you chose them.
In the highly inaccessible art world, I’m dedicated to showcasing great, unknown artists, not only to catapult their careers, but also to share their incredible talent with the world. With the help of Canon, we’re exposing the art of #TheUnknowns for the world to see.