Collaborations between musicians and artists are not a new development, but it has become more common as of late. Marina Abramovic performed with Jay Z at Pace Gallery, Lady Gaga practiced the Abramovic method and is working with various artists including Jeff Koons and Inez & Vinoodh on her upcoming project, and Pharrell recently worked with Daniel Arsham on a keyboard sculpture and is currently working with JR on a video project. In the age of social media, it almost seems weird for visual artists not to have friends in the music industry with whom they create and interact with.
While attending the opening event for Galerie Perrotin in New York City, producer Swizz Beatz told the New York Times that "the art world is the new music world," which would explain his and Pharrell's constant participation in and passion for both. Swizz Beatz, an ex-graffiti writer and now a painter in his spare time, has fully immersed himself in the art world, whether it's releasing Basquiat-themed footwear and apparel with Reebok, painting with Damien Hirst, or painting murals with street artists in Brazil. Pharrell added that "the art world is always super inspiring...All these super creative kinds know how to take it to the next level."
Is the medium the only difference between the art and music worlds? Both are forms of expression, yet one is still more highly regarded than the other. Are musicians like Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, Lady Gaga, and Jay Z exceptions because they have all surpassed their peers in their respective genres (and tax brackets) and have gained passes into a "higher" society? Is it deeper than the art "features" and lavish parties?