Jay Z's cameo-laden "Picasso Baby" video spliced together clips from a six-hour live performance art piece, inspired by artist Marina Abramovic -- who also appears in the 2013 video. It was a concept inspired by her 2010 piece "The Artist Is Present," and now she's saying he didn't keep up his end of the deal.
“I am very pissed by this, since he adapted my work only under one condition: that he would help my institute. Which he didn’t,” she told Spike magazine, as reported by Complex. “The day before [the performance], he came to my office and I gave him an entire power point presentation and said: OK, you can help me, because I really need help to build this thing. Then he just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair.”
In October 2013, a spokesperson for Jay confirmed his plans to make a donation to the Marina Abramovic Institute to Observer. “Yes, Mr. Carter is confirmed to make a donation,” Roc Nation publicist Jana Fleischman said.
In addition to Abramovic, the video featured a number of fans engaging with Hov, as well as celebrities like Wale, Taraji P. Henson, Fab Five Freddy, Judd Apatow and more.
At the time of the video's release in August, just a month after it was shot in a New York City gallery in July, Abramovic sounded enthusiastic about the performance and her involvement.
“It was great; so much energy," she said. "For me, it’s very important that the rapper community and the Twitter [community] actually start googling to understand what performance art is. It’s really important that I can shift the public from the one field to the arts, which rarely happens. So, this was really a very meaningful thing.”
Now, though, the 68-year-old is looking back on the experience in a less-than-positive light.
“I will never do it again, that I can say. Never,” she added. “I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It’s so cruel, it’s incredible. I will stay away from it for sure.”