Celebrating the Artist

 August 7, 2019

The Dean Collection © Bacardí

Freedom for an artist is the only way of living, creating and contributing. For many, creating freely is impossible, an illusion and delirious. For some, it is a life purpose to see artists create freely, celebrating them for what they do and who they are.

One of those who’s aims has become to celebrate the artist since many years is Swizz Beatz, Grammy-winning producer. An artist himself he certainly knows what it is to create freely and to do so by making from it a living too. But before such a vision can become a more widespread acceptance there are certain changes in the art world that people like Swizz wish to see.

It is quite a typical story of artists being recognized only after they die without being noticed during their lifetime. It is also taken quite often granted that art inspires every day and everything around us. Even the most industrial and technical designs, fashion design, architecture, graphical design every piece of dress, car, object we use daily is inspired from an artistic element, theme.

So why do most artists have to struggle to sell their work, works that are more than mere objects? Why do many artists have to give their artworks for free and why do they have to pay to take part in exhibitions, art prizes and other art related events?

Each and every art is as valuable as the life of Man is, since what would Man's worth on Earth be without a Michelangelo, a Leonardo, a Dali, a Picasso, what would we do without the artworks of the Greeks, of Rome, of Babylonia? Why are doctors, lawyers, bankers recognized professions worth enough to pay for, whereas artists are considered as fun, interesting, unique but not more than that?

As an artists‘ advocate, Swizz has started to take actions first as an art collector and then as a founder of No Commission, a traveling art exhibition in partnership with Bacardí Rum. Swizz can be called a mover, a changer in every sense.

Swizz is setting an example for the future path in the art world, providing opportunities for artists to make a living from their own art. He is achieving all these changes not only by what he says but also by the positive and active steps he takes towards this vision.

Already as an art collector Swizz can be considered a game changer, since he is determined to purchase works from artists that are still alive.

No Commission was first conceptualized by Swizz during his studies at Harvard and was brought to life with the partnership of Bacardí Rum. The first edition coincided with Art Basel Miami in 2015 and has been a great success ever since in cities like London, Shanghai, the South Bronx and Berlin. Already in their first edition over $1 million in artworks were sold during the fair.

“When you look at these different shows,” he explains in an interview to GQ, “you see the fair win, the gallery win, the collector win, and most of the time the artist is the last one to get paid, even though it's their show. Being an artist myself, I said one day I'm gonna change this. That’s how No Commission was born. A show by the artist, for the artist, with the people.”

Swizz sees the artists themselves as the ones to celebrate, around whom all his visions and initiations evolve. Being an artist himself he felt the need to initiate a change in the status quo, whereas everyone got to win, except the artists themselves, who get „to find their way home and get the short end of the stick even though it feels like a big celebration going on in a lot of these different places. It was just like, as an artist and as an advocate for artists, how can we create an environment that truly celebrates the artists to where it's by the artists, for the people?" explains Swizz in an interview to KC Orcutt in REVOLT.

„I collect all living artists right now. That‘s my thing. I‘d like artists to be able to smell their roses while they are here, use their money to invest back into themselves and then give the world more greatness. I‘ve been encouraging people to support living artists so they can enjoy this now.“
Swizz Beatz
explains in an interview with Billboard

No Commission Art Performs © Bacardí

The aim of the No Commission platform of events is to have artists and art lovers directly being in contact, having the opportunity to share thoughts in the same space. Through this direct dialogue and interaction eventually when a deal happens then the artists receives one hundred percent of what the buyer pays. This allows for the art lover to gain an in-depth and direct impact of the artist’s mind and feelings about his or her work and for the artists full control and decision of what they want and receive as an exchange for their artwork.

Since its start it has become more than an event, it has become more a movement in the form of a platform that is held around the world. The platform allows also for the development and growth of attitudes, change of views and more inclusion for all segments in the art world.

„For me, I have no segments and levels, You have artists that are in museums, you have artists that are on their way out, you have artists that are in the finest galleries, you have artists that are in no galleries, all hanging on the same wall so it's not like this is the fine art section, this is the street art section. No, this is the art section. Period. That's how my shows ran. I just think it's a breath of fresh air.“
Swizz Beatz
explains to REVOLT

Swizz Beatz at BACARDÍ, Swizz Beatz, and The Dean Collection Return to “Take the Shot” for No Commission in Miami © Bacardí

There are more visions that Swizz has in mind and that he wishes to see take effect in the art world. They all have as their aim to build around the artist a support structure so they can create continuously, without loosing while creating.

"If you're an artist and you've sold this work to me for $10,000 ten years ago and the value of that work goes up to $100,000," Swizz elaborates in his interview with REVOLT. "Say if I wanted to sell that work and make a profit from it, shouldn't you participate in that? At least 5%? I feel like, artists should have more than 5%, but imagine if artists had 5% of their works that they get paid off of throughout the duration of life. I get goosebumps talking about it. It's just simple mathematics and the whole key is not to be greedy. People just want to be so greedy that the artists can't even retain some rights. I know there are situations out there where you can get this or you can get that. But it's not really enforced. I'm talking about make it the thing."

No Commission Miami / Vaness Wu © Bacardí

No Commission is not only a platform for artists but also for art lovers and art collectors. It wishes to break down the old barriers that keep out new people from buying, investing in art and being inspired by it. It aims to motivate and educate people to buy and invest in art, which is not only for the rich.

It seems especially important for Swizz to empower the artists themselves, that they themselves realize the changes they can make and bring to the world.

"I am doing this for fun, but in the middle of having fun, we are here to correct a couple of things, right?" he concludes to REVOLT. "It's going to take the artists to notice those things. I'm an artist myself, right? It's not like it's an us/they thing. I'm talking about us all collectively."

Appreciation of art starts from appreciating and celebrating the Artist. An artist creates in the present but also for the future. Art’s purpose is to live forever, for many generations on, to capture a fragment in an artist’s life and to hold it for eternity, for other people to discover, feel and experience those moments again, fulfilling the artist’s life purpose for generations to come.

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