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Rising artists, a hip hop producer, and a spirits company might seem like an unconventional combination for a global event series. But, as arts programs at traditional institutions continue to rapidly decline across the world, brands stepping in to take a larger role and give emerging artists a stronger voice is the new trend. The No Commission art fair series, a collaboration between Swizz Beatz and BACARDI, is one such example.

While No Commission has put almost $3 million dollars directly into artist pockets, its impact on artists has proven even more important. What Swizz Beatz has done with BACARDI is give artists a platform for greatness. As brands play larger roles as beneficiaries of arts, culture, and music, the industry itself has begun to shift, allowing new and emerging artists to make a name for themselves in an empowering way.

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Two notable artists who have found immense success following the No Commission series are Nina Chanel Abney and Marcus Jahmal. Both Abney and Jahmal were participating artists for No Commission: Bronx in August 2016, and Jahmal’s work was also shown at No Commission: Berlin in June 2017. Shortly after No Commission: Bronx, both artists were signed to major galleries, namely Abney signed with Jack Shainman Gallery – one of the most prominent in NYC, and Jahmal went on to sign with Canada Gallery in New York, the venerable Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, and Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin.