Performance artist Vanessa Beecroft has been profiled by New York magazine and surprise, surprise, she said things that have people irritated. While Beecroft has a long history of creating controversial works of art themed around the topic of race, specifically her fascination with black people, her beliefs around her double personality are creating the biggest stir, a topic on which she states, “I have divided my personality. There is Vanessa Beecroft as a European white female, and then there is Vanessa Beecroft as Kanye [West], an African-American male.”
She later adds, “I even did a DNA test thinking maybe I am black? I actually wasn’t. I was kind of disappointed, and I don’t want to believe it. I want to do it again, because when I work with Africans or African-Americans, I feel that I am autobiographical. If I don’t call myself white, maybe I am not.”
Go right ahead and insert all your Rachel Dolezal jokes here.
Once you get past the ridiculousness of that quote, the article is filled with interesting tidbits about Beecroft, which are fascinating to read if only because of her success level globally and her association with West and her work with him on multiple projects, including all of his Yeezy presentations.
Some of the items that popped out:
- When casting Yeezy Season 3, she told bookers, “Please don’t have anyone who looks stupid. Or fancy. Please. Classical, poor, and elegant.”
- She in no longer is on regular payroll for Kanye West and is being paid by project, a change she says was brought about by Kim Kardashian around the time West began speaking of financial difficulties.
- For the Wests’ wedding in Italy, it was her idea to engrave the name of guests into the the marble table, an interesting note if only because Kardashian discussed having to sand out the names of two no-shows, presumed to be Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
- Current projects include working on a Barbie Doll project and the dolls may have “caramel Beyoncé skin.” Within the same statement she implies Bey was to some degree inspired by her work. [Insert eyeroll here!]
- She has four children and her ex husband, Greg Durkin, is suing for full custody of his kids, the two oldest.
- Her mother followed a strict macrobiotic, vegetarian diet and referred to meat eating neighbors as “cage people.” She was also given growth hormones as a teen and developed an eating disorder.
- Her most controversial art moment to date was a documentary, titled The Art Star and the Sudanese Children. Filmed in Sudan, it featured her nursing two babies who lost their mother. Her failed attempt to adopt the two children led to a massive, negative uproar and eventually her divorce from Durkin.
- She’s been favored by the fashion industry for many years. In 1998, she collaborated with designer Tom Ford on a show at the Guggenheim
Read more on Beecroft at NYMag.com.