The rapper offered the 1982 work “CPRKR” to the Guggenheim for its show “Basquiat’s ‘Defacement’: The Untold Story,” which opened Friday.
“Defacement” is the late artist’s painting about graffiti artist Michael Stewart, who died in 1983 after he was arrested for tagging a First Avenue subway station.
Six transit cops were tried for beating him to death, but were acquitted.
According to the museum, the exhibit includes “approximately 20 paintings and works on paper created in the years surrounding Stewart’s death.
“This presentation will examine Basquiat’s exploration of black identity, his protest against police brutality and his attempts to craft a singular, aesthetic language of empowerment.” Basquiat painted “CPRKR” in 1982 as a tribute to jazz great Charlie Parker.
In 2017, Jay-Z produced a documentary series about Kalief Browder, the teenager who killed himself after he spent two years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island.