Arts·LIST

These are Beyoncé's 5 favourite artists

In a rare interview, Beyoncé touched on our favourite topic (that isn't Beyonce): art! Learn more about her all-time favourite visual artists, including Kara Walker and Donald Judd.

Sorry, Jay-Z. You're not on the list.

What does art mean to Beyonce? The pop star shared her answer in a rare interview for GARAGE Magazine. (Urs Fischer/GARAGE Magazine)

She sings, she dances, she tumblrs — but Beyoncé doesn't do interviews. Not since sometime around 2014, anyway.

Even Vogue couldn't squeeze a comment out of Bey when they gave her the cover of their 2015 September issue, but GARAGE, an art and fashion mag based out of London, scored an exclusive with the pop star — one we're paying attention to because what Beyoncé had to say is all about our favourite subject (that isn't Beyoncé): art!

In the cover story, which features original mixed-media portraits by Urs Fischer, the pop star reveals she's been a collector way longer than her name-dropping hubby, and it's all because of her mom. "My mother is a huge art collector and she always encouraged me from a young age to invest in art," Beyoncé explains.

"I find myself most drawn to painting and photography," she tells the magazine, which would certainly explain their choice in commissioning Fischer. "There's a release and an immediacy there that helps me escape from my other projects."

And to further illustrate her point, Bey shares her top 5 favourite artists. We've included a little more on them below…

People view Kara Walker's "A Subtlety," a seventy-five and a half feet long and thirty-five and a half feet tall sphinx made in part of bleached sugar at the former Domino Sugar Refinery. (Getty Images)

Kara Walker

More than 130,000 people came to Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Factory in 2014 to witness Kara Walker's monumental art project, A Subtlety. But of all the selfies taken at the feet of this sugar-coated Sphinx — which stretched some 75 and a half feet in repose — none were as talked about as the ones featuring Beyoncé, Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue Ivy. (On tumblr, Beyoncé shared photos of the family's big day out.)

(www.beyonce.com)

A Subtlety marked Walker's first installation featuring sculpture, though it addressed many of the same themes she's touched on throughout her career. Particularly well-known for her large paper silhouettes — which subvert pre-Civil War images of the American South — Walker explores ideas of race, sexuality, violence and identity. Around the same time Beyoncé was sharing her family photos in front of A Subtlety, CBC Radio's Eleanor Wachtel visited the artist in New York. Listen to their conversation below.

Eleanor Wachtel talks to American artist Kara Walker. She's best known for her wall-sized tableaux of silhouette cut-outs. Her latest work is a gigantic sphinx-like figure made out of sugar, now on exhibit at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. 53:59

Tracey Emin

So much of being a pop star involves constructing a version of yourself and giving it all to the world, so there's something appropriate about Beyoncé's interest in Tracey Emin, an artist known for exploring "personal states and ideas of self-representation." One of the first women to become a professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, Emin rose to fame in the '90s, associated with the Young British Artists movement, and earned a Turner Prize nomination in 1999. You might be familiar with her work in neon — but no, we're pretty sure she's not featured in Bey's "Blow" video. In signs like this one, Emin transforms personal confessions and other intimate phrases into searing signage that blurs the line between what's considered public and private.

(Facebook/EminInternational)

Aaron Young

Knowing when it's time to step away from a work of art can be difficult, but this Instagram post from Aaron Young provides one solid pointer. It's finished when you add Beyoncé.

During a trip to Art Basel Miami in 2008, Beyoncé and Jay-Z commissioned Young, a New York-based multi-disciplinary artist, to re-create his 24-carat gold sculpture of a chain-link fence, "fenceMiami." This post, which Young Instagrammed three years ago, seems to depict the finished piece, which he says he custom made for their NYC patio.

Edward Ruscha. Annie, Poured from Maple Syrup, 1966. (Norton Simon Museum)

Ed Ruscha

An American pop artist dubbed the "SoCal Magritte" by Time Magazine (when they named him one of their 100 most influential people in the world in 2013), Ruscha's famed for his text-based paintings, inspired by commercial art like his contemporaries Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Beyoncés not the only fan in her household. Jay-Z's boasted to Howard Stern that he has an original Ruscha in his collection, one that features the Annie comic-strip logo, much like his 1966 painting, Annie… Poured From Maple Syrup. It's a "Hard Knock Life?" Not so much. 

A view of the concrete art works by Donald Judd that run along the border of Chinati's Foundation property in Marfa, Texas. (Getty Images)

Donald Judd

Beyoncé loves Donald Judd so much she based a whole vacay around him.

A very well-documented vacay.

Because if you've seen those photos of Bey leaping (for joy) in front of Elmgreen and Dragset's "Prada, Marfa," you're familiar with her holiday to the West Texas town, an artist community —  and now much-Instagrammed tourist destination — cultivated by Judd in the 1970s.

Known as a leader in minimalist art, Judd fled Soho for to create his in the wide-open spaces of Texas, and though he passed away in 1994, his Judd Foundation remains in Marfa — a series of artist studios, offices and libraries that happens to house Judd's personal art collection as well as many examples of his large-scale work.

What does art mean to Beyoncé?

Here's what she told GARAGE: "I think defining art is a really personal thing. I try not to think about it too much.

"It makes me think about a Basquiat quote I read somewhere that said, I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life."

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