Art Parties

Rosamund Pike, Titus Kaphar, Swizz Beatz, Peter Marino, and More Take Over the Brooklyn Museum for the 2024 Artist’s Ball

Titus Kaphar and Swizz Beatz at the 2024 Brooklyn Artists Ball. Photography by Jason Lowrie. All images courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.

Titus Kaphar’s work is instantly recognizable from across the room. Three of his monumental paintings are currently hanging in the Brooklyn Museum’s “Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys” exhibition. Last night, at the museum’s 2024 Brooklyn Artists Ball, honoring Kaphar, one attendee approached the trio of pieces and gasped in recognition, “Muhammad Ali!” 

In each work, the famed image of the boxer celebrating a knockout in the ring is reduced to an outline of excised canvas, a staple of Kaphar’s oeuvre. In Ali’s absence, visions of the Virgin Mary and American colonizers emerge, a continuation of the artist’s long-standing fascination with the staples and omissions of the historical record. “We are thrilled to be honoring Titus Kaphar, an artist of great humanity, community builder, and trustee who has made a profound impact on both our Museum and contemporary culture as a whole,” said Anne Pasternak, the museum’s Shelby White and Leon Levy director, in a statement.

The artist and Brooklyn Museum have a long-standing relationship, dating back to his 2017 inclusion in “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America.” It’s the same year Kaphar completed his work Shifting the Gaze while on stage giving a TED Talk. The piece has since been acquired by the museum and features the artist’s whitewashing technique, which entails quite literally running a wide brush bathed in white paint across his finished works.

Last night began with a cocktail reception in the glass-enclosed front room, followed by a seated dinner in the Beaux-Arts Court set to a performance by Little Simz. Among the diners, eagle-eye attendees could spot actors Rosamund Pike and Thomas Doherty; artists Mickalene Thomas and Kennedy Yanko; the New Museum’s Isolde Brielmaier; musician Swizz Beatz; CULTURED Editor-in-Chief Sarah Harrelson; curator Kimberly Drew; architect Peter Marino; and more.

Dior, another notable collaborator of the museum, presented this year’s ball. The museum began working with the legacy brand in 2021 with the debut of “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” followed by the 2022 Artists Ball honoring Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Later this month, Chiuri is set to debut her Fall 2024 collection in the museum’s expansive halls.

Swizz Beatz performing at the gala after-party. Photography by Jason Lowrie.

The seated portion of the evening was followed by a move to the dance floor as Swizz Beatz made his way to the DJ booth for the after-party. Guests drifted between the Great Hall, overseen by a towering KAWS sculpture, and the exhibition, lined with works by the likes of Arthur Jafa, Kehinde Wiley, Ebony G. Patterson, and instruments and speakers from the couple’s own collection.

As the night reached its apex, more and more people could be seen jumping in the booth alongside Beatz as a song cut out to allow the crowd to chant, “My name is Hov', OH, H-to-the-O-V.” Into the late hours of the night, the musician stayed on to guide guests through his personal mixtape, his collection, and his vision of the culture—one that puts a diverse roster of greats at the forefront.