During his six hour performance at the Pace Gallery in New York, Jay Z performed “Picasso Baby” to a crowd of various artists. His aim was to unite the creative potential of Hip-Hop with visual arts. In the film Hov’ declares himself the modern day Picasso. Jay surrounded himself with artists including Picasso’s own granddaughter, Diana Widmaier Picasso. To match Picasso’s cubist work, Jay Z took an angular approach to his performance. Everything was condense in a square shape, his stage was a square, the bench was a rectangle, the crowd formed a square. These elements all aligned to create one meticulous cubist vision.
When art started becoming a part of the galleries, there became a separation between culture and Hip-Hop. It’s almost like, art is too bourgeois. We’re artists; we’re alike, we’re cousins. That’s what’s really exciting for me, bringing the worlds back together. – Jay Z
The MC raps these two bars to the camera over and over again for six hours. Whether you like the film or not, you have to respect Jay’s rap-endurance. The performance had to be both physically draining and emotionally so. After all, Jay views rapping as:
[…] putting your fears, vulnerabilities, and insecurities to music.
Check out the film below!