Video: Swizz Beatz On Collecting Art + Ernie Barnes

sugar shack
Sugar Shack [above] by the late Ernie Barnes (15 July 1938 – 27 April 2009) has to be one of my favourite paintings ever.

Barnes comes up in conversation with Swizz Beatz, who describes Barnes as a “super super mentor”. “I’m a part of Ernie Barnes’ estate… We just connected,” he reveals in this interview with Creative Control at Dame Dash‘s studio complex (DD172), exploring the American Hip Hop producer’s passion as an art collector.

Sugar Shack” is a recall of a childhood experience. It was the first time my innocence met with the sins of dance. The painting transmits rhythm so the experience is re-created in the person viewing it. To show that African-Americans utilize rhythm as a way of resolving physcial tension.

We should pay more attention to our inner life, which is the well-spring of our creativity and morality. It demands the study of art, literature and philosophy. It’s that portion of ourselves that gives rise to our feelings of awe, beauty and a higher order of meaning. It’s called the spiritual life of our species.”

–Ernie Barnes interview on

Also check out this Dazed&Confused interview with Damon Dash about his “24-hour Karate School” (better known as DD172):

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