Meleko Mokgosi’s Art In Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’ Collection 

The American music artists and couple will showcase an exhibition that “will encourage ‘giant conversations’ inspired by the works on view – critiquing society and celebrating Blackness” by renowned legendary artists at the Brooklyn Museum early next month


The panel paintings of New York-based Motswana artist, Meleko Mokgosi, are part of the impressive visual art collection of American music artists and couple, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.

Known for advocating for black creatives, Grammy award winning Alicia Keys took to social media last week to announce that their collection of contemporary art will be exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum early next month.

“I have been holding this incredible news close to the chest,” she posted on her Instagram. “Now it’s our pleasure to announce our exhibition titled ‘Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys’ opening on February 10th.”

The Giants 

Mokgosi will be part of the “giants” of the artworld whose works will be displayed alongside African, Black American and African diasporic artists such as Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. The exhibition will feature more than 100 major artworks.

Born in Francistown, Mokgosi is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Yale School of Art, as well as co-founder and director of the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Programme.

His large scale, figurative, and often text-based works engage history painting and cinematic tropes to investigate historiography, democracy, and liberation movements across Africa and the diaspora.

“Spaces of Subjection”

His body of work includes “Spaces of Subjection,” which examines subjection and subjectivity as they pertain to perspectives on African, African-American and Black life.

A statement released by the Brooklyn Museum states that Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz are championing a philosophy of “artists supporting artists.”

This will be the couple’s first major exhibition of the Dean Collection, showcasing a focused selection from their world-class holdings. The Brooklyn Museum’s presentation of the Dean Collection focuses on works by Black diasporic artists, aligning with their ongoing efforts to expand the art-historical narrative.

States the museum: “‘Giants’ refers to several aspects of the Dean Collection: the renown of legendary artists, the impact of canon-expanding contemporary artists, and the monumental works by such creators as Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi.

The largest ever by Mokgosi 

“Immense pieces – including the largest ever by Mokgosi – are paired with standouts such as Parks’s seminal photographs, Wiley’s revolutionary portraits, and Esther Mahlangu’s globe-bridging canvases.

“The term also evokes the strength of the bonds between the Deans and the artists they support, and among the artists themselves. Along with examining these links and legacies, the exhibition will encourage ‘giant conversations’ inspired by the works on view – critiquing society and celebrating Blackness.”

The exhibition, “Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys,” is organised by Kimberli Gant, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, and Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art, at the Brooklyn Museum.