The Italian conceptual artist Vanessa Beecroft has been attracting a heavy stream of attention since Kanye West announced that tomorrow's Yeezy Season 3 drop at Madison Square Garden will feature a performance from her—the third of their three fashion show collaborations.
Beecroft is best known in the art world for her multimedia sculptures and "living paintings," which consist of mostly nude women. Back in 2008, West told the L.A. Times, “I’ve always been a fan of Vanessa’s work. I like the idea of nudity. There’s irony in that.” When asked about West in an recent interview with It's Nice That, Beecroft explained, “One day I was approached by Kanye but I wasn’t too aware of who he was because I tend to only listen to classical music. He was extremely kind and asked me to choreograph a performance for his 808s & Heartbreak private listening party in 2008. I was going through a divorce and I started to think that maybe he was my black, male alter-ego." Here's a brief history of the West-Beecroft collaboration since then.
"Runaway" Short Film Art Direction (October 2010)
Beecroft was the art director for West's 35-minute music video/short film, evident in the statuesque poses of the ballet dancers and figures sitting around a long dining table.
"Only One" Video Art Direction (January 2015)
It is no secret that North West's parents love her a lot and West's "Only One" is a beautiful display of that In addition to art directing the stark and beautiful "Only One" video, featuring North and her daddy, Beecraft also gave some toy wolves to North as a gift.
"I was complaining about a lot of the toys that my daughter has, like, these toys don't have enough qualities, soul, life, energy in them," West said in an interview with Clique TV. "And then Vanessa Beecroft brought her these wolves that were very lifelike and had so much creativity put into the way they were made, and when my daughter saw them she started screaming and running around and it was the happiest I'd ever seen her."
In his impromptu lecture at Oxford University, he told students, "Vanessa is very focused, she's like my eyes, she's a piece of my brain. She bought my daughter these three wolves, knowing the whole collection, that it'd play with the song 'Wolves,' and based on this concept." They get each other.
Yeezy Boost Presentation Performance (February 2015)
For the presentation of his very first Yeezy drop, West hit up Beecroft to create one of her living paintings made up of Yeezy Season 1 models and, obviously, the show made massive waves. He also premiered his song "Wolves" at this show which is set to be on T.L.O.P. See what the whole thing (feat. Russell Simmons & Travi$ Scott) looked like .