In the midst of an August heat wave, art, music, and harmony presided over a South Bronx waterfront warehouse. After a huge success at Miami Art Basel, hip hop legend Swizz Beatz brought his revolutionary paradigm of an immersive free cultural event, with all sales of work going directly to the artists. Art stars like Kehinde Wiley, Hassan Hajjaj, Ebony Patterson, Swoon, Rashaad Newsome, Faile, Todd James, John Ahearn, were featured along with local talent like twenty-six year old Marcus Jahmal (recently signed by Canada Gallery), Italian photographer Luigi Cazzaniga, and So Youn Lee, who Swizz discovered on Instagram. Curated by Nicola Vassell , almost all of the thirty-six artists sold work.
“I wanted to do this in the Bronx because I got my eye for art and music from the Bronx,” Swizz said. With his wife, Alicia Keys, Swizz has amassed the Dean Collection which includes Basquiat, Keith Haring, Marc Chagall, Damien Hirst, KAWS, Takashi Murakami, and Erte.
Performances by Fabolous, A$AP Rocky, Pusha T, Q-Tip, assorted artists and Swizz himself enlivened the steamy evenings. Sunday, Alicia and Swizz strolled the deeply air conditioned Fair, as phone cameras furiously snapped away.
Thousands of happy people filtered through the Fair, from art world insiders to young locals. Co-sponsored by Bacardi, delicious rum drinks, watermelon juice and tons of water kept the hot crowd happily hydrated. It’s been a tough season with disappointing Presidential campaigns, violence, and continuing racism. No Commission was truly a visionary urban celebration …. inclusive, exuberant, and born right in the boogie down Bronx.
NO COMMISSION THE DEAN COLLECTION BRONX, NY AUG 11-14
Words: Ilka Scobie Photo: Twitter