Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft is nothing if not controversial. Though she has been in the art-world spotlight for several decades, she has only recently come into the mainstream public consciousness after joining up with the biggest name there is: Kanye West. She and Kanye are a match made in heaven, and their fruitful partnership has resulted in creations like this year’s sprawling YEEZY Season 3 performance at Madison Square Garden.
Aspects of this performance, as well as a majority of her recent work, has led to more than a bit of outcry from the public regarding its race-related intentions. Outrage continued to grow in her staunch defense of her work, not to mention some of her more unorthodox comments on her own race and racial discourse in general.
Beecroft is now featured in an extensive profile published by NY Mag, which covers her personal views on all the above, in addition to a comprehensive examination of her increasingly strange life (like her childhood diet of flaxseed and clay which resulted in an emergency operation). It is also a goldmine of her characteristically curious and unusual quotes. Here are a few of the most choice:
On her own race:
“I have divided my personality…There is Vanessa Beecroft as a European white female, and then there is Vanessa Beecroft as Kanye, an African-American male.”
On organizing YEEZY Season 3:
“I wanted the people to look poor. Poverty and elegance were the key words. Poverty and elegance. No trends, no fashion.”
On being taken off the West family payroll:
“It was Kim Kardashian…she cut everything out.”
On Kanye’s philosophy:
“Look, if Kanye’s there to help people of color start to identify and go on a new form of awareness and revolution, then I am happy about that because he is doing it in a gentle way.”
On receiving death threats:
“[It] is very different from getting a bad review from a critic.”
On her persona:
“I realize I am a bit floating around in the sky.”
Be sure to check out her full profile on NY Mag.
In related news, Kanye recently scored his 40th Top 40 hit on the Hot 100 charts, surpassing his idol Michael Jackson.