Artist Marina Abramović Says Jay Z "Completely Used Me"
Published May 19, 2015Jay Z's new Tidal service boasts a more artist-friendly business model than other streaming platforms, but there's at least one artist who claims to have been inadequately compensated by the rap mogul. Back in 2013, Marina Abramović inspired Jay Z's Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film, but the rapper apparently never lived up to his promises of a donation.
Jay Z's six-hour Picasso Baby performance art piece was inspired by Marina Abramović's 2010 MoMA piece The Artist Is Present. Abramović even made an appearance at Hova's Picasso Baby event.
When asked about her cameo in Jay Z's video, she told Spike, "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 said that Jay Z came by her office she told him that she needed his financial help to launch her Marina Abramović Institute. According to her, he failed to live up to his end of the agreement. "Then he just completely used me. And that wasn't fair," she said, later adding, "And in the end it was only a one-way transaction. I will never do it again, that I can say. Never. 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."
Meanwhile, Abramović had nice things to say about Lady Gaga, who reportedly helped to draw attention to Abramović's work.
Although he didn't make a donation to Abramović, Jay Z apparently did give cash to help protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore, so perhaps that somewhat redeems him.
UPDATE: The Marina Abramović Institute has confirmed that Jay Z did in fact keep his promise. They issued an apology, which you can read here.