5 Questions to Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean
Founded by music power couple Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean and Alicia Keys, The Dean Collection is one of the engines behind the rise of Black Art in America.
In spirit of our ninth episode, aptly titled “These Girls Are on Fire”, we kick off our first Art Fix Podcast celebrating Dean’s motto: “By the artist, for the artist, with the people”. According to Dean, there’s a lot of Black female artists we’ve got to have on our radar. Check out the podcast here or listen to it on Spotify or Apple Podcast to learn which artists Kasseem Dean believes are on fire.
While Kasseem Dean and his wife Alicia Keys share 22 Grammy nominations between them, they also share a strong passion for contemporary art. They collect from the heart, no matter what color the artist. But there is a strong imprint of Black artists in their Dean Collection.
With their art collection, Keys and Dean support fellow artists in the art world. “Dean’s Choice” is a concept that they have been developing. An option for collectors selling a work through an auction house or gallery to simply check a box — yes or no — to indicate whether they’d like to give a percentage of the sale to the artist. Another notable initiative is Dean’s “No Commission” project, festivals where artists keep 100% of their work’s revenue.
Kasseem Dean is also helping his peers make the first strides into the world of art collecting. You may recall the stunning Kerry James Marshall piece we discussed in our fourth episode, “Going Once, Going Twice”. “Past Times” sold for $21.1 million in 2018 and holds the record for a work sold by a living Black artist. What you may not know is that the instigator of this sale was Dean: who encouraged his friend and buyer of the work, P. Diddy, to make the purchase!