Art is the centrepiece of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s life and home.
The couple are on the new cover of Architectural Digest, and in the issue they give a tour of their incredible, modernist mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Named “Dreamland”, the home, which Keys and her husband purchased in 2019, is rumoured to have been the inspiration behind Tony Stark’s bachelor pad in the “Iron Man” films.
Built out of white concrete in 2007, the house features floor-to-ceiling glass, grand walkways, courtyards, floating staircases, and more.
Inside, Keys and Beatz have filled the home with art from their collection of over 1,000 works, amassed over two decades.
Among the artworks are African-American and African artists, including Kehinde Wiley, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Barkley L. Hendricks and Henry Taylor, as well as photos by iconic artist Gordon Parks.
“It really feels like he’s a grandfather to us,” Keys says of Parks. “To be able to keep his collection together and for it to live in the home of Black artists is really very emotional for me.”
Beatz adds, “I love that 90 per cent of the art in the house is by artists who are now our friends. We’ve broken bread with them, they’ve partied at our house, they’ve spent the night. It’s not transactional for us.”
The house also features an underground garage filled with luxury cars and a recording studio.
“I don’t call it a man cave, because me and my wife share the space equally,” Beatz says of the space, where he frequently spends time listening to classic R&B and smoking cigars. “We call it the grown-up floor.”
In another room in the house, Keys has her first baby-grand piano, gifted to her by her original record label, and which her older son now plays.
“When Egypt is practising piano, he has a Basquiat behind him and the Toyin in front of him,” she says. “Without even knowing it, he gets to absorb this excellence.”
Keys adds, “When you hear a song or something we’ve produced, the foundation is to make people feel good and feel loved. That’s what our art is about … when you come into our home, that’s exactly what we want you to feel. We want you to feel loved, to feel safe, to feel relaxed. We want you to have a great meal. We want you to feel inspired.”