Painter Vincent Desiderio Says Kanye Is “truly An Artist” For His “Famous” Video. | Gradient
Gradient

Painter Vincent Desiderio says Kanye is “truly an artist” for his “Famous” video.

sleep (1)
©VINCENT DESIDERO/COURTESY MARLBOROUGH GALLERY

This weekend, Kanye released a music video depicting a bunch of naked celebrities and politicians including Taylor Swift, Goerge W. Bush, Rihanna, Donald Trump and a few more. The video has rightfully received a fair amount of criticism from the public, mostly because Kanye critiques the exploitation of celebrities while simultaneously exploiting them. (It is seemingly counterproductive.)

The video has a deep, intentional, artistic feel to it for good reason: The scene is inspired by a painting, 60-year-old Vincent Desiderio’s “Sleep.” A man who had only heard of Kanye’s music from his children was deeply touched by Kanye’s use of his painting. Calling Kanye a true artist in an interview by New York Times Joe Coscarelli, the painter shares his thoughts on the video. It is worth reading through, but here is a snippet to whet your appetite:

“First of all, a lot of art that makes the crossover into hip-hop is not interesting to me in the least — and not so interesting to Kanye, at this point. For Kanye, who lives in this world of celebrity and fame, the way I understand him now is that he’s much more like Andy Warhol. He said one time, “I am Warhol” out of frustration. But he’s like an exploded internet version of Warhol allowing these celebs to hang themselves with their own words while he sits there and says, “That’s fabulous.” Warhol was a mirror for the times. When Kanye goes through all these shenanigans, he’s mirroring the times. He said it himself: It’s performance art. His whole life is performance art.”

Did you recognize everyone portrayed in the video?

“I did, except for some of the hip-hop people. That seems to be the thing people are focusing on more — I’m sure he did it to be incendiary — but the real subject of the video is that many of these people in the bed are repulsive. But everything about the video kept me at bay in regard to making a judgment on them. Every time I would think a thought like that, I would see them sleeping and vulnerable, like babies. We’re all the same. They’re just famous.”

You can read the rest here.

If you enjoy ‘Reactions’, subscribe to our podcast, In Case You Missed It.  

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”

sounds-good-1-e1471274700720

Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”

animalators-1024x575

Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040

icymi-generic

United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”

screen-shot-2016-09-02-at-8-28-21-am-1

Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”

sounds-good-1-e1471274700720

Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039

icymi-generic

Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo

animalators-1024x575

Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038

icymi-11-4-16-jpg

This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange

birdplanepod-logo

We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.

SIGN UP TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH GRADIENT