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JAY-Z lends Basquiat painting to police brutality-focused art exhibit

Dayna Haffenden

 // Jun 27, 2019

Back in 2013, JAY-Z made a reference to his beloved Basquiat painting, "Basquiat in my kitchen corner." Today (June 27), according to a new report from Page Six, JAY-Z recently lent out his Basquiat masterpiece to a New York art exhibit.

The exhibition examines the history of police brutality throughout the country. On Friday's opening, the Brooklyn rapper offered the 1982 work "CPRKR" to the Guggenheim for its show "Basquiat's 'Defacement': The Untold Story." Defacement portrays graffiti artist Michael Stewart, who died in 1983 following his arrest for tagging a First Avenue subway station. Six transit cops were tried for beating Stewart to death but were ultimately acquitted.

The exhibit includes 20 paintings and works on paper created in the years surrounding Stewart's death. According to the museum, ideas about identity, protest and empowerment will be explored.

According to Forbes, JAY-Z has invested over $70 million in his art collection. Throughout his career, he's racked up timeless art pieces including Basquiat's "Mecca." It was just last year that The Carters shot their music video, "APESHIT," in an iconic museum -- the Louvre.

Back in 2017, the hip hop billionaire produced TIME: The Kalief Browder Story. The six-part docuseries shed light on a teenager who killed himself after spending two years in solitary confinement. JAY viewed Browder as a prophet and believed that his story was worth sharing.

"I just view Kalief as a prophet," JAY said. "And I hope we spread the word so we all could see this thing. I know it's difficult to watch. It's hard to watch. It's real life. It's us. The power of us. We are the people that can change this and make sure this doesn't happen to someone else's 16-year-old child."

JAY-Z doesn't show any signs of taking off his producer hat anytime soon. He is credited as a producer for Meek Mill's docuseries "Free Meek." The five-part series will premiere Aug. 9 on Amazon and cover topics regarding criminal justice reform.

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