Swizz Beatz + Bacardi’s No Commission, a roving art exhibition and music experience that has been witnessed across the globe in London, Miami, Berlin, NYC, and Shanghai.
No Commission, which launched in 2015, is a different kind of offering in the art world and is truly disrupting the traditional models of art exhibitions. The three-day event is a platform designed specifically to support both new and established artists. All artists are given their exhibition space for free and 100% of the sale of each artwork goes directly to the artists. The injection of immersive music performances from event collaborator BACARDÍ, shakes up the traditional art fair, creating a unique cultural experience for visitors.
We got a chance to speak to the man (Swizz Beatz) himself in this exclusive interview with Flavourmag…
What was your inspiration behind No Commission?
I was surrounded by art growing up in the Bronx and I developed a genuine interest and love for it because there was just this crazy street art and graffiti on every corner. My passion for it grew as I got older and I started collecting art. This is where the idea to create a platform that’s all about giving back to the artist came from, and it’s something I was so passionate about making a reality. I didn’t actually intend on having a partner, but when BACARDI’s CEO approached me and we spoke about it, I realised he shared my vision for it. BACARDI has a rich history in art and music so they’ve really helped me bring it all to life – and provide some great drinks too. For me, it all comes down to one thing – giving 100% back to the artist.
What have been your top 3 moments so far at No Commission?
- For our Berlin show on the opening night, it rained the hardest it had ever rained in the city over the last 102 years. They issued a state of emergency and people still came out.
- When people thought No Commission Bronx wouldn’t be successful and it made history.
- When I got the news for our first No Commission in Miami that 90% or the artwork was sold.
What has been your worst moment at No Commission so far?
I don’t have a worst moment. Truly. Though I guess there have been a couple of scary moments along the way. Most recently when we were in Berlin, the weather was crazy. Germany had the worst rain in something like 100 years. Whenever you hold an event, there’s always a part of you that’s scared no one will show up. And in situations like that, you just want everyone to be safe, right?
So when the weather was that bad it was touch and go about whether people would show. But they did! Berliners have got a resolve that I’ve never seen in any other city I’ve been in. If that had been anywhere else with that weather, I’d have had reason to worry. But in Berlin, people just showed up anyway. Dried their hair with towels and carried on the party. Incredible.
What artists should we be keeping an eye on right now?
There are so many good artists out there. Seriously, it’s hard to name just one.
Do you feel music and art go hand in hand and will there be a bigger synergy between music and art?
Of course! Music and art are like brother and sister. Both are art forms in their own right so belong together. As a musical artist and art collector myself, the two naturally go hand-in-hand for me. You often find that art galleries can feel a little stiff and clinical. So the injection of music at No Commission just helps to lift the experience, which is all made possible by BACARDI and their team.
What would you like event attendees to take from the event?
I want people to get that we aren’t a typical gallery – we’re a movement and we’re shaking up the creative industries. I also hope that has the chance to experience No Commission appreciates it isn’t solely a platform for artists to sell; we want to encourage everyone to discover great things. We’re all about creating entry points into the art world, so for the first time in Berlin, we were selling bespoke prints for just 60 Euros. It’s all about introducing new concepts and experiences and breaking down the borders and barriers that the business of art and music can often create.
What’re the future plans for No Commission?
Well, next we’re heading back to Miami Art Basel. This is where the show started two years ago, so it’s sort of like going home for us. That’ll be one to watch for sure. Then we’re mapping out the shows for next year, so watch this space.
Give us 3 reasons why everyone should visit No Commission
- No Commission is for the artist, by the artist, with the people. All are welcome and we want you to feel part of the movement we’re trying to create
- You’ll be one of the first to lay eyes on work from some of the hottest and unique artists on the scene, and I can guarantee what you’ll see will blow your mind
- You’re guaranteed to see some amazing music performances and you can enjoy the whole thing with an incredible BACARDI cocktail – what’s not to love?
(Getty Images for Bacardi)