Alicia Keys and her husband, renowned music producer Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz), have preferred to call the home where they and their two sons, Egypt and Genesis, now reside “Dreamland.”, writes journalist Lola Ogunnaike.
Nigerian American journalist, Lola Ogunnaike, is someone who keeps shattering glass ceilings when it comes to ‘documenting the culture’. She is a leading cultural authority and seasoned media veteran whose career keeps reaching greater heights. She has covered global key events in entertainment, popular culture and politics for CNN, NBC, NewYork Times, PeopleTV, MSNBC, BET, MTV, VH1 and much more. Ogunnaike currently works as a Time Magazine Anchor, CNN and MSNBC commentator, AirMail Editor at Large, co-host of ‘WellSuitedPod’ and contributor for a plethora of other media outlets.
Her latest coverage is the Architectural Digest article that is breaking the internet. The article details the ‘inside of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s art-filled modern mansion’.
Here are some quotes from the article:
On African and Black Art:
Years ago, the couple chose to focus on acquiring pieces by African American and African artists, ranging from Kehinde Wiley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye to Barkley L. Hendricks and Henry Taylor. They also possess a treasure trove of Gordon Parks images—the largest in private hands. “It really feels like he’s a grandfather to us,” says Keys of the celebrated lensman. “To be able to keep his collection together and for it to live in the home of Black artists is really very emotional for me.”
On the main floor, Derrick Adams’s hypnotic ode to leisure, Floater 74, rests above the custom ebonized-oak table by Kelly Behun Studio in the formal dining room. Vintage Africa chairs by Afra & Tobia Scarpa quietly dazzle, as does Jordan Casteel’s vibrant Fallou and a multimedia drawing by Nigerian American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola. African sculptures—a vintage Baga Nimba ceremonial shoulder mask from the early 1900s is a treasured standout—also abound.
According to Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, “Alicia and Kasseem see themselves not only as collectors of art but as custodians of the culture.” She continues, “Over the years, I’ve watched their collection develop as their vision has widened and expanded to create a collection that really represents the breadth and depth of the work being made by Black artists.”
Toyin Ojih Odutola
“I watched her finish that piece in front of me,” Dean says, referring to one of a pair of remarkable Odutolas that has pride of place in the library/music room. “She was going to get rid of that piece, and I was like, “Toyin, I don’t think you should. That can be really special.’ ”
The article is published in the December 2021 issue of Architectural Digest.