Beyoncé and Jay-Z in a scene from the Apeshit music video
Art appreciation by the Carters
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2018 - 12:00am

That was a surprise. Without providing their fans any inkling about what they were up to and no fanfare whatsoever, Jay-Z and Beyoncé dropped a new album last June 16. Titled Everything Is Love, it marks the completion of their musical trilogy and it tells everybody that everything is all right in their world.

Remember Beyoncé’s Lemonade? That was not just a celebration of woman power, it was also a bunch of recriminations directed to her husband and whatever he did wrong. A very contrite Jay-Z answered with his dawn confessional 4:44. And now, we have Everything Is Love, which tells us indeed that no matter what happens, love indeed is everything.

As is usual with these Carters, Love Is Everything is a well-produced, engaging album with infectious rhythms and beats to groove to. You can dance to it, Love Happy. Listen to Beyoncé’s encouragement, Nice. Celebrate being black, Black Effect. Show appreciation for people close to you, Friends. Rap lightly about the virtues of Bey’s hometown, 713. Or you can simply enjoy Summer while being Love Happy.

On the other hand though, Jay-Z and Beyoncé still have issues that they are willing to make public. These include a paternity suit filed against Jay-Z that will go into trial soon or the fact that he failed to win a single trophy despite several nominations at the 2018 Grammys. Then I wouldn’t call it issues but these two make no bones about telling listeners about their achievements and how successful and rich they are. And then there is the track titled Apeshit. Is that what it really means?

But I will not go into that. There is something more interesting about it, the music video. This is a show of unbridled ostentation that will make your eyes pop. The bling, the wardrobe, the shots rival the most spectacular of motion pictures.  Jay-Z and Beyoncé filmed the video at the Louvre Museum in Paris. 

Can you just imagine how much they paid for that! But since Love Is Everything is all about showing off, they probably decided they might as well go all out and put themselves among those treasures. You know, give viewers an art appreciation class in minutes Jay-Z and Beyoncé style.

Still, the Apeshit video is the most fun I had watching a Jay-Z or a Beyoncé video in a long time. Though of you who have visited the Louvre might also want to try it, while wondering why us ordinary mortals are never allowed to get that close to those works of art.

So you can do some learning by watching the video and then figuring out what painting or sculpture is on the screen.  There are several and I do not think I recognize them all. But thanks to info from Wikipedia, I managed to list down what are probably the most well-known.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci from the 1500s; The Victory of Samothrace Landing, artist unknown from the Second Century BC; Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David, 1784; The Great Sphinx of Tanis, artist unknown from 2600 BC; The Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and the Coronation of the Empress Josephine by Jacques-Louis David, 1807; The Intervention of the Sabine Women also by David, 1799; Madame Recamier, again by David, 1800;

Les Ombres de Francesca da Rimini et de Paolo Malatesta apparaissent a Dante et a Virgile by Ary Scheffer, 1835; Pieta by Rosso Florentino, 1450; The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault, 1819; The Charging Chasseur also by Gericault, 1812;  Hermes Fastening His Sandal by Lysippos, Fourth Century BC; Venus de Milo, artist unknown, 100 BCE; The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese, 1563; and Portrait of a Black Woman by Marie-Guillemine Benoist, 1800.

So now thanks to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Apeshit, I now know that it has never been determined who created that famous statue of Venus de Milo and that there is the Great Sphinx of Tanis which dates back to 2600 BC and has been remarkably well-preserved for everybody to appreciate.

JAY-Z AND BEYONCé
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