American stardom reaches France’s doors once again as Beyoncé and Jay-Z drop a surprise album and shoot the music video for one of their songs, “Apes**t,” at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The power couple took over the French museum. They posed in front of the Mona Lisa, and stood on the Daru staircase. Part of the video is filmed in front of David’s The Coronation of Napoleon and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. In one of the shots, the dancers jump in front of the Great Sphinx of Tanis in the Louvre’s Egyptian galleries. The sequence ends with Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist’s Portrait of a Negress.
The choice to insert a clear separation between the artists’ black body and white-themed artwork sets a precedent for how the American couple have become icons for black empowerment. As the New York Times highlighted, “the couple here present themselves as both outsiders in an elite institution and as heirs to it; as people excluded from its narratives but now possessors of it by virtue of their talent, their taste and, well, their money.”