Brooklyn Public Library Celebrated Jay Z in Book of HOV
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Images courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library unveiled a new exhibition dedicated to Hip-Hop mogul JAY-Z, whose unpopular birth name is Shawn Carter. As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Hip-hop musical genre and its emergence as a global cultural phenomenon on August 11th, 2023. The exhibition, titled Book of HOV, showcases an exclusive collection of previously unreleased images, art pieces, and ephemera sourced directly from the artist’s personal archives. The display also features works by prominent artists like Henry Taylor and Daniel Arsham according to Designboom.
The Book of HOV exhibition, which is named after Jay-Z’s other nickname, HOV (short for J-Hova), was presented in chapters, as it celebrates ‘the phenomenal story of a man who turned adversities into stepping stones,’ according to the team at the Brooklyn Public Library. In the appearance of an open book, the building’s exterior is adorned with lyrics from Jay Z songs like Sweet and Encore.
Upon entering, the exhibition takes over the library’s atrium, mezzanine, and a portion of its Youth Wing to spotlight the impact of the Hip-Hop icon through a selection of artworks, awards, media coverage clippings, and previously unseen photographs. Visitors can also explore an array of original recording masters, iconic stage attire, and other assorted memorabilia that encompass every aspect of JAY-Z’s professional journey. Among the exclusive memorabilia is the guitar he played at the 2008 Glastonbury Festival, a handwritten letter from Frank Sinatra’s daughter dating back to 2009, and his 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Award.
Drawing inspiration from JAY-Z, the entire exhibition is enhanced with artworks by several renowned artists. Notably, the collection showcases a JAY-Z portrait by American painter Henry Taylor, which he specifically crafted for the cover of T Magazine. Moreover, the expansive collage mural in the library’s lobby by Jazz Grant is an assemblage of hand-cut and scanned archive imagery on laminated vinyl. An additional highlight of the exhibit is a sculpture named ‘HOV’s Hands’ by Daniel Arsham. This sculpture, created from volcanic ash, pyrite, selenite, and hydrostone, showcases Arsham’s distinctive eroded aesthetic and captures JAY-Z’s iconic hand gesture trademark.
Curated by Roc Nation, the immersive exhibition will be on view till October 2023. And even if visiting the Brooklyn library in person isn’t feasible, Hip-Hop fans still have the chance to engage with the show through an interactive Book of HOV website. The website offers a comprehensive breakdown of the exhibit’s contents, presented in a chapter-by-chapter format, and narrated by the esteemed New York radio personality, Angie Martinez.
Edited by MJ | Buildace Magazine