The Met Tweets “Magna Carta” Album Art Alongside the Sculpture it Features


Jay-Z has been on one this week. First, there was his Twitter spree that had fans day-dreaming over a RT+brackets reply, then, his appearance on Hot 97 with Angie Martinez. Now, he is currently in a New York gallery performing “Picasso Baby” over and over for six hours in a stint of “performance art” as it were—watch a vine of that below.

Among Jay’s many collaborators and supporters on the album, he can now count the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who just tweeted a photo split of his album cover and the sculpture that it features. “Alpheus and Arethusa” is the previously unknown title of the piece which is currently housed in the Met.

The piece was previously unidentified sculpture is by Battista di Domenico Lorenzi (Italian, ca. 1527/28–1594) and portrays a nymph, Arethusa, who is being pursued by the river god Alpheus. That’s the thing about a Jay-Z album: you can editorialize it all you want, decrying marketing choices, features, even production elements—but at this point, Jay-Z feels like an artifact himself. He’s part of the culture, he’s carved out his place and everyone wants to get a look.

Less than a week after Magna Carta Holy Grail‘s release, making snap judgements feels like a mistake, but has The Met ever tweeted a rap album’s cover before? There’s always more to be decoded in this world with #NewRules. However one thing is clear, Hov’s just as valuable and divisive as a Picasso, baby.

  • Kameron

    There’s nothing visually stimulating about this piece and his execution is the same thing that he’s been doing his entire career. Conceptually, his lyrics only prove that he’s rich enough to buy a Basquiat and he can list names of famous artists and galleries. I’m always for pushing the meaning of what art can be but this attempt at performance art is just Lay-Z.

  • Gods_Giift

    Did you not hear the songs Heaven, Oceans, FUTW, Holy Grail, Picasso Baby or Jay Z Blue..? The album has more depth that what it’s getting credit for.

  • Kameron

    I actually enjoyed the album for the most part even though at times I felt like Jay-Z played it too safe. My comment was only referring to his performance of “Picasso Baby” for six hours at Pace Gallery. I don’t like the track because he instead of mentioning any emotional connection that he has with the art he’s just name dropping and using them to elevate his status. I think he should have performed a track with more significance. “Picasso Baby” is about art but he fails to make a meaningful statement like the artists he’s mentioning.

  • Gods_Giift

    I think his point was moreso saying that these lavish items aren’t what’s really important. I looked at it as a metaphor, but I understand.

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