Marina Abramović Says Jay Z ‘Completely Used’ Her: ‘I Am Very Pissed’
“I just Picasso in my casa.” Well, Marina Abramović just wants her compensation.
The performance artist, who made headlines with her 2010 installation “The Artist Is Present,” is claiming that Jay Z totally stiffed her when it came to adapting her work for his “Picasso Baby” music video. Though the two seem very much happy with one another’s company in the 2013 video, Abramović says in a new interview that Jay Z “completely used” her idea and did not follow through with his end of their deal once the clip was released.
According to Abramović, she only approved of the adaptation and starred in the video — something she would rarely agree to — because Hova had promised to help her build the Marina Abramović Institute, a 33,000 square-foot space in New York dedicated to honing performance art.
“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 tells Spike magazine. “The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire power point presentation 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.”
“This is very different from Lady Gaga, for example, who has done great work for me,” she adds, referring to the video Lady Gaga made for her institute’s Kickstarter campaign in 2013. “Just by having 45 million followers, she brought all these young kids into my public”
The video is said to be inspired by Abramović’s “The Artist Is Present,” a 736-hour static performance where spectators are invited to sit across from an immobile Abramović and stare into her eyes. In “Picasso Baby,” notable names including Girls stars Adam Driver and Jemima Kirke, director Judd Apatow and Empire actress Taraji P. Henson take turns sitting across from Jay Z as they watch him perform.
Though Abramović is angry that Jay Z didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, the 68-year-old artist says she has no regrets about working with the emcee.
“Right now in my life, things happen. I don’t bother anymore,” she tells the publication, though she adds that she does feel “totally used and came out with nothing.”
“In the end it was only a one-way transaction,” she continues. “I will never do it again, that I can say. Never. 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.”