Jay Z Releases Performance Art Film For ‘Picasso Baby’

When Jay-Z made a surprise appearance at the Pace Gallery in Manhattan we really didn’t know what to expect. The rapper performed in the medium of performance art, which up until then hadn’t been something Jay dabbled in. Jay Z never one to do something halfway, brought along the mother of performance art Marina Abramovic. His performance of Picasso Baby lasted for a total of six hours. So really, just imagine a really long Vine video on a loop.

After the performance people wondered if this was a one-time thing, or if Jay Z was going to go Kanye on us and start projecting his image off the wall for some musical inspiration. Now we finally have that answer, and it’s kind of a little bit of both.

Jay Z has released a ten-minute cut of his video titled Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film in support of his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail. Instead of a regular music video, it’s being described as an art film, which is the direction some artists have gone in, in terms of creating a character arc for a music video.

This is something different for Jay Z as it resembles more of a documentary than anything else. Directed by Mark Romanek, the film premiered on HBO last week. In addition it included appearances by other Hollywood friends, including Judd Apatow, Alan Cumming, Taraji P. Henson, Adam Driver, and Rosie Perez. Talk about an unlikely mix.

Before Jay Z took to the Pace Gallery to perform his song for six hours, he discussed the relationship between hip hop artists and performance artists, saying: “We’re artists; we’re alike; we’re cousins.” He added that he’s excited to bring the hip hop and art worlds “back together.”

Check out Jay Z’s art film below:

Do you think more hip hop artists should experiment with performance art?