FOR THEIR LATEST VIDEO, Beyoncé and Jay-Z took over the Louvre, stunting and styling through the galleries without a tourist in sight. The Paris museum played host to the Carters who dropped a surprise album on Saturday. The nine-track collaborative project is titled “Everything is Love” and both artists appear on every track including the first single “Apeshit,” the subject of the video.
Powerful images have become Beyoncé’s stock-in-trade and in this regard the video doesn’t disappoint. Amid calls to diversify museums, she’s staged an intervention with a procession of black female dancers wearing nude-toned body suits in a spectrum of beige, tan, and brown.
The dancers perform synchronized choregraphy on the grand Daru staircase that ascends up to the museum’s iconic Winged Victory of Samothrace, a marble Hellenistic sculpture dating from about the 2nd century B.C. Elsewhere in the museum, they work their hips before “The Coronation of Napoleon,” an 1807 painting by Jacques-Louis David. Among the most striking images, she’s planted two dancers in front of the Mona Lisa for a hair-combing session, complete with an afro pick with a clenched fist on the handle.
Among the most striking images, she’s planted two dancers in front of the Mona Lisa for a hair-combing session, complete with an afro pick with a clenched fist on the handle.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z are in the midst of their On the Run II tour and performed in London Stadium on June 16, the day the album dropped and the “Apeshit” video was released. The song was written and produced by Pharrell and the Carters and features vocals by Quavo and Offset from the Migos, who are also co-writers. Ricky Saiz directed the video.
Bringing their music into the museum setting is a natural development given the couple’s penchant for collecting art and previous collaborations and connections with artists.
The video for “Hold Up,” for example, the song from Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album in which she saunters down the street in a golden yellow dress busting out car windows, appears to reference a similar sequence in a 1997 project by Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. More recently, the images for Beyoncé’s flower-goddess inspired pregnancy and baby announcements were created by photographers Awol Erizku and Mason Pool, respectively.
Five years ago, Jay-Z famously took over Pace Gallery in New York City to film the video for his art-inspired song “Picasso Baby.” The interactive performance featured artists Marina Abramovic, George Condo, Rashid Johnson, Marilyn Minter, Andres Serrano, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, and Fred Wilson, among others.
The lyrics to the 2013 song include a reference the couple’s growing art collection (“House like the Louvre or the Tate Modern”) and give a nod to Beyoncé (“Sleeping every night next to Mona Lisa. The modern day version with better features”). CT
Wearing a spectrum of nude-tones, dancers perform in front of “The Coronation of Napoleon,” an 1807 painting by Jacques-Louis David. | Screenshot from “Apeshit” video by The Carters
Beyoncé with the Louvre’s iconic Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture, which dates from the 2nd century B.C. | Screenshot from “Apeshit” video by The Carters
Beyoncé and Jay-Z look on as dancers execute synchronized choreography on the grand Daru staircase that leads up to the Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture. | Screenshot from “Apeshit” video by The Carters
The Carters made a number of costume changes during their run through The Louvre. | Screenshot from “Apeshit” video by The Carters
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