Usher Charged His Phone Inside a Nude Woman

Lena Marquise and the "Body as Commodity" installation. Photo: Nate "Igor" Smith/

Solange may have canceled her plans to appear at Select Fair in Miami Beach, but that doesn’t mean the up-and-coming Art Basel satellite fair had a week devoid of celebrity encounters. Just the opposite, in fact: hip-hop star Usher came by to charge his phone—in a naked woman’s vagina.

Let us explain. Huffington Post reports that Lower East Side’s Vector Gallery had a booth that included an installation entitled Body as Commodity, which challenged visitors to examine the myriad ways in which the female body is commodified by inviting them to charge their phones inside the body of performance artist Lena Marquise.

Usher and Marquise. Photo via SplashNews

Usher and Marquise.
Photo via SplashNews

When Usher casually stopped by and paid $20 to “charge” his phone for 10 minutes, the internet predictably exploded. Which, as Marquise points out in a brief interview with the Miami New Times, drives home one of the major points of the work, which is that money, celebrity and female nudity still rise to the forefront of even the most seemingly progressive art event meant to call into question those very ideals.

“I think the piece speaks to how people are finding out about it. And how people are finding out about is itself a commentary,” she said. Vector owner J.J Brine agreed: “And all reactions, a compendium of responses, they sort of tell their own story. And a narrative across the spectrum is being compiled in a book of stories.”

Unfortunately for both the artist and the gallerist, as the Internet sees it, Usher is still the star of this tale.

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