Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film

Jay Z’s short film, “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”, is one of five nominations for Best Music Video at the Grammy Awards. The 10 minute short film, designed to promote Jay Z’s latest album album Magna Carta Holy Grail, was shot over six hours on July 10, 2013, at the Pace Gallery in New York City. The performance was inspired by “The Artist is Present”, a 2010 installation by Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović in which she made herself available to quietly interact with visitors, one by one. Jay Z invited artists, rappers, performance artists, film directors and others from the fine arts industry to attend his installation, giving guests the opportunity to participate or just watch as he performed his music live. The edited music video aired on HBO on August 2, alongside a 30 minute documentary.

Jay Z in Picasso Baby Performance Art Film

Jay Z in Picasso Baby Performance Art Film
Jay Z in Picasso Baby Performance Art Film
Jay Z in Picasso Baby Performance Art Film
Jay Z and Marina Abramovic in Picasso Baby Performance Art Film
Jay Z and Marina Abramovic dance in Picasso Baby Performance Art Film

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, is a 2012 documentary directed by Matthew Akers and Jeff Dupre, following the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Here’s the trailer for the film.

The Artist is Present Poster

Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

Mark Romanek in Jay Z Picasso Baby Performance Art Film


Filming was shot by director Mark Romanek via Anonymous Content with producers Shawn Jay Z Carter, Aristides McGarry, executive producers Eric Stern, John McNeily and Chaka Pilgrim, producer SueEllen Clair, director of photography Jody Lee Lipes, production designer Clement Price-Thomas, art director Benjamin Bridges.

Event curator was Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Salon 94.

Editing was done at Arcade Edit by editors Geoff Hounsell, Paul Martinez and Nick Rondeau. Colourist was Dave Hussey at Company 3. Online editing and visual effects were produced at Method Studios.

Sound was edited at Soundelux by supervising sound editor Becky Sullivan, sound editors Laura H. Atkinson (dialogue) and Ben Wilkins (sound effects), assistant sound editor David Stanke. Sound was mixed at 20th Century Fox Studios by recordist Ryan Cole, sound mixers Dane Lonsdale and Michael Lonsdale, re-recording mixer Andy Nelson, re-recording engineer Paul Pavelka.

See also Mike Hogan’s interview with Mark Romanek on Huffington Post, Brandon Brown’s review on the SFMOMA site, Rich Juzwiak’s review on Gawker.

Magna Carta… Holy Grail – JAY Z on iTunes