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An Art Historical Summary of “Lemonade”- Part 2

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When we left off in Part 1, we were certain of the inevitable end of Bey Z. To be honest, we were a bit concerned about Jay Z’s safety, and we found ourselves Googling if he’s made any public appearances since the visual album came out.

In Part 2, the narrative continues, and Beyoncé isn’t looking any happier.

5. Emptiness

In this section, everything is basically red.

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And Beyoncé is singing about shoes that none of us can walk in.

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Dirty Heels by Marilyn Minter at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

6. Accountability

Can you believe it? Beyoncé has a country song!

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Col. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) by Rosa Bonheur at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

She makes sure to mention “Texas” like 2 or 3 times in the beginning, and she also rides a horse and talks about shooting guns in the video…

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Just in case you still didn’t get that it was a country song.

7. Reformation

Beyoncé and her posse walk through water in their see through dresses.

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A Broad and Expansive Sky - Ancient Rome by Carrie Mae Weems

They take turns sitting on chairs while lying on the ground. And they even play tug-o-war with their bodies. 

In the end, Beyoncé ponders about life by the beach, letting the water lightly touch her hand.

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8. Forgiveness

At first you may think, “Alicia Keys, is that you?” But it’s not. It’s Beyoncé. (Though it wouldn’t have been surprising to have an appearance by Alicia Keys.)

To set the scene: she is alone, playing the keyboard. Suddenly, the hand of a Mystery Man appears out of nowhere, and he’s playfully tickling her. Lucky bastard.

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Large Left Hand 1903 by Auguste Rodin at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts

We see Beyonce and Mystery Man’s torsos. Their bodies are facing each other, and the camera slowly pans up to build anticipation. You think that surely, this cannot be Jay Z. Beyoncé is way too angry at him to let him join the video. So clearly, it isn’t him.

But then you see Mystery Man’s profile and oh snap!

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The Scream by Edvard Munch at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo

It is Jay Z!

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After all that, he is still alive? What a miracle!

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9. Resurrection (Perhaps this explains what happened to Jay Z?)

In this section, James Blake is singing Forward and you may wonder where Beyoncé went.

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But for real, only James Blake is singing. Regardless, it’s a very emotional song accompanied by footage of various women holding up photographs of men they’ve lost in their lives. 

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These women include the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

To match the theme of the section (Resurrection), it ends with an (unattended!) baby on a bed.

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Untitled (Head of a Baby) by Ron Mueck at the National Gallery of Canada

10. Hope

A group of women sit around a stage to watch Beyoncé sing what should be everyone’s favorite song in the album: Freedom.

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It’s a free concert, but apparently no one cares. Nor do they appropriately appreciate ballerina Michaela DePrince’s breathtaking performance.

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Little Dancer by Edgar Degas at the National Gallery of Art Washington DC

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Tough crowd…

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I guess famous people have higher standards?

11. Redemption

The last section of the visual album includes video footage of lovers on lovers on lovers, including home videos of Queen B, Jay Z, and -of course- Blue Ivy.

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And it’s just too much.

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Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein at the Museum of Modern Art

Just note that all the tears you shed will just make you thirsty for more.

We can’t wait to see what Queen B comes up with next.

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Oh right, that dress.

By Kyla

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Kyla Crisostomo

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