Jay-Z denies Marina Abramovic's accusations


Yesterday we published an interview in which Marina Abramović accuses the rapper Jay-Z of breaking an agreement. Abramović gave Jay-Z permission to adapt her piece “The Artist is Present” (originally performed as part of her 2010 retrospective at MoMA) for a music video of “Picasso Baby” shot at New York’s Pace Gallery in July of 2013. In exchange, Jay-Z promised to support her foundation, the “Marina Abramović Institute”, a performance center on the Hudson River. Abramović claims that Jay-Z “completely used me” and that she “came out with nothing”.

After the interview went viral (for example here, here, here and here) and temporarily crashed our server, Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation told us that a contribution had indeed been made to the foundation as agreed upon.

David Fierman, art advisory director at the gallery Salon 94, who also worked on the production of “Picasso Baby”, told us: “Jay did in fact make a financial contribution, as promised, to Marina’s institute. The video was done in homage to her work and at the time everyone was very clear, and very content with the results.”

Jeanne Rohatyn also works as an art adviser for Jay-Z, who has not only been rapping about art for many years, but also collects it. Last year our colleagues at Complex estimated the approximate value of all the art mentioned in his lyrics.

UPDATE: A few hours later Marina Abramović Institute apologises to Jay Z. In a letter the organisation writes: "We are sincerely sorry to both Marina Abramović and Shawn 'Jay Z' Carter for this, and since then we have taken appropriate actions to reconcile this matter."