Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia KeysSwizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys, with an interview by Kimberli Gant

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'Our strategy is collecting from the heart…The reason why we doubled down on artists of color is because much of our own community wasn’t collecting these giants.’ – Swizz Beatz

‘We want people to see themselves…We want you to see the giants on whose shoulders we stand. We want you to see that you are also a giant, that you are special, incredible, unique, one of a kind.’ – Alicia Keys

The first book to showcase selections from the groundbreaking Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, accompanying a major exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum

Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys  celebrates selections from the world-class collection of musical and cultural icons Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys.

Giants  illustrates 100 works by nearly 40 multigenerational Black American, African, and African diasporic artists in the Dean Collection, hand-picked and curated by the Brooklyn Museum for a major exhibition of the same name.

The book also features an exclusive conversation between curator Kimberli Gant and Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys, as well as interviews with ten legendary artists: Derrick Adams; Kwame Brathwaite’s son, Kwame Samori Brathwaite; Jordan Casteel; Nick Cave; Titus Kaphar; Ebony G. Patterson; Jamel Shabazz; Amy Sherald; Mickalene Thomas; and Kehinde Wiley.

Both book and exhibition bring together these ‘giants’ of the art world to embody and highlight the Deans’ collecting philosophy: ‘by the artist, for the artist, with the people.’

Featured artists : Nina Chanel Abney; Derrick Adams; Radcliffe Bailey; Ernie Barnes; Jean-Michel Basquiat; Jarvis Boyland; Kwame Brathwaite; Jordan Casteel; Nick Cave; Hassan Hajjaj; Barkley L. Hendricks; Arthur Jafa; Titus Kaphar; Jerome Lagarrigue; Deana Lawson; Esther Mahlangu; Meleko Mokgosi; Odili Donald Odita; Toyin Ojih Odutola; Zohra Opoku; Frida Orupabo; Gordon Parks; Ebony G. Patterson; Deborah Roberts; Tschabalala Self; Jamel Shabazz; Amy Sherald; Malick Sidibé; Lorna Simpson; Sanlé Sory; Vaughn Spann; Henry Taylor; Hank Willis Thomas; Mickalene Thomas; Kehinde Wiley; Qualeasha Wood; Kennedy Yanko; and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 325 × 250 mm (12 3/4 × 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 256 pp
  • Illustrations: 125 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781838668693

Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) and Alicia Keys are pop-culture and musical icons. Swizz is a legendary, Grammy Award–winning record producer, DJ, visionary, and businessman, and Keys is a 16-time Grammy Award–winning singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and businesswoman widely referred to as the ‘Queen of R&B.’ Major collectors and connoisseurs, the husband-and-wife team are the founders of the Dean Collection, their philanthropic organization and family collection of international contemporary art, and strong advocates for artists through their other creative platforms, including the Dean’s Choice concept, the art-and-music festival No Commission, and the artist residency Dreamland.

Kimberli Gant  is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Gant was formerly the McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, and her publications include Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (2015).

Artist biographies by Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Praise for the Brooklyn Museum’s Giants exhibit as seen in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Wall Street Journal
‘The musical luminaries have a keen eye for art and have built a stunning collection of works by Black artists with the aim of writing their own cultural narrative.’ – Wall Street Journal
‘An essential history and anticipated future.’ – Essence
‘Moments like these ensure the continued prosperity of Black art.’ – Artsy
‘A celebration of Blackness and an ode to living life monumentally.’ – Thrillist
‘[A] triumph.’ – Artnet News
‘That’s what I enjoyed about this show: its big-hearted vibe, its generous spirit.’ – The Washington Post