Fashion

Vanessa Beecroft Opens Up About Kanye West

“I am protected by Kanye’s talent. I become black. I am no longer Vanessa Beecroft, and I am free to do whatever I want.”

By
4,433 Hypes

Vanessa Beecroft Opens Up About Kanye West

“I am protected by Kanye’s talent. I become black. I am no longer Vanessa Beecroft, and I am free to do whatever I want.”

Italian-born performance artist Vanessa Beecroft is, without a doubt, one of Kanye West’s most trusted collaborators. Her work for the G.O.O.D. Music head honcho extends from Yeezy Season presentations back to the debut of West’s 2008 808s & Heartbreak album. Make no mistake, the partnership exists in tandem — art may be Beecroft’s craft, but West knows his pop culture. Here, Vanessa Beecroft opens up, “Kanye, to me, is the most political, experimental and fundamentally humanitarian of all.”

Courtesy of W Magazine, read the full interview below.

How did you and Kanye first meet?
I met Kanye in October 2008 in L.A. He had reached out to my studio but I didn’t know who he was since I don’t follow pop culture. At the time, he explained, he was presenting his album 808, an album that came out of a moment of suffering – the loss of his mother, of his lover and the trust of a group audience. I was experiencing a similar moment in my personal life and, due to the fact that Kanye is an African American male, [and because] he respected art and he was in a moment of crisis, I decided to follow him. On the same day I met Kanye I also met my husband.

How do you approach Kanye’s shows? What sort of instruction does he give you?
Kanye is extremely respectful and humble towards others’ creativity. I never felt as if I received instructions but rather a brief, a verbal visualization of thoughts. A daydreaming type of confession and aspiration. During these briefings, ideas, memories, stories, dreams, fantasies and visuals are presented. I usually listen and allow these ideas to enter my head. Then, after spending some time with them, I select what I can hold on to, in order to build a symbolic image. Sometimes I stay close to the original, sometimes I don’t. I am given carte blanche. Since the very beginning, my husband Federico Spadoni helps me in this process.

What were the challenges of working in a space as large as Madison Square Garden for Yeezy 3?
I was actually surprised on how small MSG was compared to what I expected. I found an “outdoor” inspiration image from a Rwandan genocide refugee camp that didn’t have any physical limitation. We tried to fill all the space there was with people.
I am no longer Vanessa Beecroft, and I am free to do whatever I want because Kanye allows it.

What do you like about working with Kanye over creating your own work for galleries and dealers?
When I work with Kanye I am liberated by the fact of being a female, what is considered a white person. I am free from the schemes of the art world, I gain another audience. I am protected by Kanye’s talent. I become black. I am no longer Vanessa Beecroft, and I am free to do whatever I want because Kanye allows it.

A lot of what you’ve explored in your presentations—poverty and feminism, for example—seem at odds with West’s persona. How do you deal with that juxtaposition?
I think Kanye’s social work is presented in a new form. Kanye doesn’t follow the traditional standards of political work. However, by being extremely sensitive to the zeitgeist, Kanye, to me, is the most political, experimental and fundamentally humanitarian of all. Not by explicitly donating, supporting or consoling the poor, but by living, in his own body, the change in a way that is not easy. He embodies the persona that makes his life a project and he is truthful to his lyrics. Kanye is a poet. There is no discrimination while working with Kanye. The only discrimination is [against] the demagogic, the old, the politically correct, even in the art form.

Between Kanye and Tod’s, you were on the fashion calendar twice this season. Does that surprise you or have you always been interested in fashion?
Fashion deals with humans and embellishes them or locates them socially. I am interested in using the body as a vehicle of communication and clothes as formal elements with political and poetical content.

Read Full Article
Share this article

What to Read Next

Kanye West Could Be Opening Physical Retail Stores for YEEZY
Fashion

Kanye West Could Be Opening Physical Retail Stores for YEEZY

Based on a recent trademark filing for YZYSPLY.
1,457 Hypes

Kanye West's YEEZY Appoints Nur Abbas as Head of Design
Fashion

Kanye West's YEEZY Appoints Nur Abbas as Head of Design

The creative will be in charge of launching special projects for the brand, expanding its empire and more.
1,726 Hypes

Chaney Jones and Kanye West Have Reportedly Broken Up
Entertainment

Chaney Jones and Kanye West Have Reportedly Broken Up

Following a trip to Tokyo.
1,308 Hypes


Watch Pete Davidson Joke About Kanye West in a Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Video
Film & TV

Watch Pete Davidson Joke About Kanye West in a Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Video

“Kanye told me I have AIDS,” says the comedian.
1,300 Hypes



Stussy Women Debuts Official 2016 Spring Lookbook
Fashion

Stussy Women Debuts Official 2016 Spring Lookbook

Californian sportswear redefined.
1,386 Hypes

50 Years of Vans In Retrospection
Fashion

50 Years of Vans In Retrospection

#Since66.
1,575 Hypes

A Grilled Cheese Recipe for Grown-Ups
Culture

A Grilled Cheese Recipe for Grown-Ups

Chicken, cheese and ham — oh my.
611 Hypes

Peggy Gou Tells Us Why Fashion and Music Sometimes Don't Mix
Music

Peggy Gou Tells Us Why Fashion and Music Sometimes Don't Mix

The Berlin-based producer discusses life as an ex-stylist, double standards, work-life balance and more.
4,885 Hypes

Tinashe Pulls the Trigger With Latest Single "Bullet"
Music

Tinashe Pulls the Trigger With Latest Single "Bullet"

“Don’t know love till it hits ya.”
695 Hypes

Meet Kanye West's New Protege: Kacy Hill
Culture

Meet Kanye West's New Protege: Kacy Hill

She’s one to watch.
890 Hypes

Instagram Announces a Major Change for Your Feed
Culture

Instagram Announces a Major Change for Your Feed

Following in Facebook’s footsteps.
477 Hypes

The Nike Classic Cortez Gets a Beautiful "Cherry Blossom" Rework
Footwear

The Nike Classic Cortez Gets a Beautiful "Cherry Blossom" Rework

Another stunning model inspired by Japan’s famous sakura trees.
2,921 Hypes

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.