The new ad campaign see’s the pair posing in front of an original Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, and friends of the late artist have expressed it is the opposite of Basquiat’s intentions for his art.
Stephen Torton, Basquiat’s former assistant, insisted Tiffany & Co would not have been welcoming towards Basquiat when he were alive.
“They wouldn’t have let Jean-Michel into a Tiffany’s if he wanted to use the bathroom, or, if he went to buy an engagement ring and pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket.”
We couldn’t even get a cab” Torton told The Daily Beast.
Tiffany & Co have said that Basquiat was inspired by their signature blue, and copied it in the painting used for the ad campaign.
Torton put a strongly worded Instagram post dispelling the claim;
Alex Alder, Basquiat’s roommate from 1979-1980 has also spoke to The Daily Beast.
“I’d seen the ad a couple days ago, and I was horrified.” said Alder.
“The commercialisation and commodification of Jean and his art at this point — it’s really not what Jean was about.”
Basquiat was a prominent ant-capitalist artist, who passed away in 1988 at only 27.
Alder expressed he would rather his art be somewhere easily accessible to everyone, for free.
“Unfortunately, the museums came to Jean’s art late, so most of his art is in private hands and people don’t get to see that art except for the shows. Why show it as a prop to an ad?”
In the campaign, Beyoncé, 40, is seen wearing an enormous $30 million Tiffany yellow diamond necklace while Jay, 51, sports a suit with Jean Schlumberger’s Bird on a Rock brooch repurposed as cufflinks.
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