Renaissance: Beyonce and the Art Culture of Online Discretion

It’s no coincidence that Beyoncé’s mid-July TikTok debut coincided with the release of her new album, regeneration. She has uploaded all of her music to the platform so far and shared video clips of several fans dancing to her latest single, break my soul. In less than two hours, she surpassed 3 million followers. But, like on her Instagram account, she doesn’t follow anyone herself. Not even Ivy Park, the sportswear company she founded in 2016.

At this stage in her career, no one was expecting Beyoncé to be the star of a viral dance or to have her family in the TikTok challenge of the day. In fact, her online reserves make her a rare bird in the pop music world. No one knows who her closest friends are, what the interior of her many properties looks like, or how she spends her free time outside the studio or offstage.

Unlike avid Instagrammers Madonna or Doja Cat and Azealia Banks, who sparked more controversy under the watchful eye of a dwindling fan base, Beyoncé took a completely different tack, keeping the mysteries behind public figures alive. Despite being world-famous, Beyoncé’s daily life is as unknown as Enya or Kate Bush.

“I’m grateful that I have the ability to choose what I want to share,” she told Bazaar“One day, I decided I wanted to be like Thad and Prince. I wanted to focus on my music because if my art wasn’t strong or meaningful enough to interest and inspire people, Then I’m doing it wrong. My music, my film, my art, my message – that’s enough.”

In the same post, Beyoncé said: “Throughout my career, I have intentionally set boundaries between my stage role and my personal life. My family and friends often forget the side of me that is A beast in stilettos until they watch my show. It’s easy to lose yourself quickly in this industry. In this industry, most of your life is not yours unless you fight for it. A lot of me is for me Reserved by people who love and trust. People who don’t know me and have never seen me might interpret it as being turned off. Believe, the reason those people don’t see something about me is because my Virgo doesn’t want to Let them see… it’s not because it doesn’t exist!”

This division between public and private Beyonce goes back a long way. In fact, it started after the hit single in 2003, madness in loveand her debut album, dangerous loveThat’s when she realized she could be more successful than the girl band Destiny’s Child she led in the 1990s. “I don’t want to be obsessed with fame,” she told Rolling Stones then. “Then, when I’m not famous anymore, I won’t know what to do, I’ll just look hopeless and out of my mind.”

However, the biggest turning point came in March 2011. Three months before the release of Album 4, she fired her first and only manager to date: her father, Matthew Knowles. “He was shocked when I started working on my business more at 18,” she admitted in the 2013 documentary life is just a dream, published on HBO. “We had a problem. I would say no to something and he would book anyway. Then I had to do it because it looked bad [if I didn’t]. We fought sometimes and it took about two years – until I was 20 – and he realized, ‘Oh, she’s an adult now, and if she doesn’t want to do something, I can’t force her to do it. ‘”

Once she achieved the creative independence she craved, Beyoncé was finally able to take control of her own image. Still, she wasn’t always immune to controversy, especially in 2014, when her sister Solange got involved in a spat with husband Jay-Z in the Standard’s elevator just after the MET gala. The New York Hotel in front of Beyoncé. The video was leaked by TMZ a few days later, sparking numerous rumors, mostly because Beyoncé didn’t respond.

Subsequently, only a brief statement was released: “As a result of the public release of elevator safety footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a lot of speculation about the cause of this unfortunate incident. But most importantly, our family It’s over. Jay and Solange each take their own responsibility for what happened. They both apologize to each other and we move forward as a united family. We’ve put this behind us, hope Others can do the same.”

Since the couple got married on April 4, 2008, there have been rumors in the US media that Jay-Z was involved in infidelity. These were initially silent.However, this situation changed on April 23, 2016, with lemonadethe album allowed Beyoncé to not only resolve her marital crisis, but to name one of her husband’s lovers in the song sorrycalling her Becky, “with nice hair.”

next year, full length 4:44 Studio album, Jay-Z includes a track called family feud In the letter, he admitted he had gone the wrong way and apologized to his wife. In 2018, the two embarked on their second joint tour, on the run II, grossed $254 million on 58 dates. Financially, it benefits both stars. But Beyonce came out on top: Her marital crisis brought her closer to her fan base. Since then, America’s most enigmatic icon has eluded those keen to speculate and analyze: no TV interviews, and few fashion editorials on social media accounts.

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