James Turrell Wants You to Know He Had Nothing to Do with Drake’s Video

Will Drake catch flak for using fakes?

Drake in "Hotline Bling" Photo:  via iTunes.

Drake in Hotline Bling.
Photo: via iTunes.

In a possible attempt to follow in the contemporary art-obsessed footsteps of Beyonce, Jay Z, and Kanye West, Drake recently set off a slew of memes when he dropped a new video that features the rapper dancing inside several glowing, boxy environments reminiscent of the work of septuagenarian light artist James Turrell.

“I fuck with Turrell,” he boasted to a Rolling Stone reporter back in 2014, a few weeks after seeing the exhibition “James Turrell: A Retrospective” at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He even Instagrammed several pictures of himself in front of the brightly-hued light installations, some of which are reminiscent of shots from the Hotline Bling video.

“Fuck with Turrell” he may, but you think he’d at least want to do it with the real thing.

Turrell released the following statement yesterday via his attorney at John Silberman Associates, Donn Zaretsky, who shared it on his Art Law Blog in a post titled “What a Time to be Alive”:

“While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake fucks with me, I nevertheless wish to make clear that neither I nor any of my woes was involved in any way in the making of the Hotline Bling video.”

What does it say about the rapper—who often catches shade from Internet critics for being “soft” and “emo”—that he would use “Turrell-inspired” artworks in his music video? We suspect such a move isn’t going to win him much respect from his fellow celebrity art enthusiasts who would no sooner dance around a fake Turrell works than they would carry a fake Birkin bag.

Photo: via iTunes.

Photo: via iTunes.

If you’re in the mood to see genuine works by Turrell, on November 8, Kayne Griffin Corcoran in Los Angeles will open an exhibition of new work that will include three large-scale Elliptical Glass works by the artist. The exhibition will be on view until January 16, 2016.

Also, there are numerous original Turrell environments built in unexpected places around the world. Maybe there is one near you?

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