Kasseem Dean aka Swizz Beatz is jet lagged from a recent trip to China. He’s back home in New York City and has no time to rest, because there is too much to do. Between balancing his family life with his wife, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, basketball games with his son, hosting the Global Spin Awards (a major DJ expo), appearing on the “Today Show” and curating his impressive art repository, The Dean Collection. If that is not enough, Dean was recently named to the board of the Brooklyn Museum where he will open his Rolodex to help expand arts education programs, get financial support and build cultural engagement. Oh yes, and he’s preparing to launch a major art fair titled “No Commission” at this year’s Miami Art Basel. So sleep is not an option.
Dean’s foray into art began with his love of painting, but his children’s future also plays a major role. “I wanted to start this art collection for my kids, because I just feel like when traveling and going to different people’s homes and being around different cultures, you see a lot of things that are passed down to the kids,” Dean explains. “So I started building the collection ― and my kids still don’t really know The Dean Collection is for them. I don’t talk about it. It’s something that I do as a passion, and it’s something they’ll turn around one day and say, ‘Wow, Dad built a museum for us to take over.’”
The Dean Collection is massive, including major works by KAWS, Swoon, D*Face and Kehinde Wiley, to name a few. “And people are like, ‘Well, why are you collecting things so massive?’ And I’m like, ‘Because I want to collect museum-style,’” Dean explains.
“And I think that’s just my taste. If I was into something else I would go big, as well.”