Swizz Beatz is bringing a mix of art and music to Art Basel Miami Beach this year.
The 37-year-old half-Puerto Rican hip-hop artist and record producer is collaborating with Bacardi for a three-day art and concert series at North America’s foremost international modern and contemporary art fair next month to showcase up-and-coming artists — both visual and musical — on a platform that will also feature performances from Alicia Keys, Pusha T, A-Trak, DMX and Wiz Khalifa, among others.
The collaboration, called Casa Bacardi at Wynwood, will be curated by Beatz’s The Dean Collection and encompass two separate yet connected events.
The first, running from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Dec. 3-5, is a No Commission Art Fair, where artists will be allowed to showcase their work for free and take home 100 percent of their proceeds, a departure from the industry standard where galleries both take a percentage of profits and charge for booth space.
The second, running from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. each night, is the Bacardi Untameable House Party, a concert series with both established and emerging musicians and DJs.
“It’s by the artist, for the artist, with the people,” Swizz tells Billboard. “And I think a lot of people forgot the message of why they’re even going down to Basel. You’re going down to Basel because there are amazing, creative artists who took a lot of time out of their lives to put together some masterpieces and hope for entry in a great collection or for somebody to be inspired. And not taking anything away from Basel or from the galleries, but I just chose to do something different. And I think the world needs more powerful collaborations that are willing to push the envelope and not really follow the necessary rules that are laid out.”
Swizz’s connection to the art world goes beyond his own Dean Collection; he also joined the board of the Brooklyn Museum in October and has been curating at Basel for years.
“This is something that just has to happen,” he says. “Because if we’re not pushing the envelope, then who do we expect to do it? I think the most important part of the message is the give back factor. And the other part of the give back factor is having a brand like Bacardi supporting that. There’s no punch line, there’s no catch. This is a genuine thing.”
The No Commission Art Fair will be free and open to the public, while each night’s House Party will be free via RSVP.
“We totally connected on the need to help fuel the hustle and provide artists with a stage to showcase their passions,” says Zara Mirza, head of creative excellence at Bacardi. “Bacardi has a deep heritage in music and the arts, from Prohibition parties in Havana, Cuba in the 1920s to some of our more modern partnerships like the Untameable Artist Series.”
Artists showing at The No Commission Art Fair:
BK The Artist
David Choong Lee
Gordon Parks Foundation
So Youn Lee