Almost two years ago, Jay Z put on a six-hour performance piece for his "Picasso Baby" music video, which drew inspiration from Marina Abramovic’s 2010 exhibit The Artist Is Present. Not only was Abramovic featured in the project, but she had also locked down a monetary donation from Jay Z to benefit her art institute, according to Roc Nation spokeswoman Jana Fleishman.
However, the 68-year-old performance artist is now claiming Jay didn’t help at all.
In a recent interview with Spike magazine, Abramovic says the collaboration was a “one-way transaction.”
“I am very pissed by this, since he adapted my work only under one condition: that he would help my institute. Which he didn’t,” she told the magazine. “The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire power point presentation [sic] and said: okay, you can help me, because I really need help to build this thing. Then he just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair.”
But Abramovic insists she doesn’t have any regrets; she is simply looking at it as a learning experience: “I will never do it again, that I can say. Never,” she said. “I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It’s so cruel, it’s incredible. I will stay away from it for sure.”
We've reached out to Jay Z's camp for a comment. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: New York dealer Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn of Salon 94 confirmed this morning that Jay Z did in fact keep his donation promises. Greenberg-Rohatyn, who helped organized the video shoot for "Picasso Baby," read a receipt from the Hudson, New York institute to artnet News that said, "Thank you for your donation."