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

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

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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.

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