The 6 Most Puzzling Quotes From Kanye Collaborator Vanessa Beecroft's New Interview

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Vanessa Beecroft is the contemporary artist behind the visuals for some of Kanye West's most pivotal career moments. There was the Runaway mini-movie, Yeezy Season 3, and his Florence nuptials with Kim Kardashian West. There's no denying that Beecroft is amazingly talented. (And clearly, she gets West.) But in a new profile with New York magazine, the performance artist shared some...well, questionable remarks. Perhaps these are the result of cultural or language barriers — Beecroft is from Italy, after all — but some of her statements are so questionable (and downright offensive) that we're wondering if she might need a lesson or two in political correctness (and the meaning of the word filter).

Let's dive right in. Warning: the following snippets may cause extreme eyebrow-raising...
Beecroft's first quote in the interview is about her desire to be Black.
“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... 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.”

Girl. GIRL. Girl. It's lovely that you admire African-American culture. But no matter how much you hang out with Kanye West, you can't just simply declare that you are not white.

The artist also talks about the inspiration behind the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show. Spoiler alert: It was poverty.
“That was a refugee camp... I wanted the people to look poor. Poverty and elegance were the key words. Poverty and elegance. No trends, no fashion. Real poverty, what you encounter when you travel to Africa, Mexico, those countries where people wear their clothes with dignity and they look elegant and they look like they have intelligence. When we were casting, I said, ‘Please don’t have anyone who looks stupid. Or fancy. Please. Classical, poor, and elegant.’"

Considering how insanely expensive the pieces from the Yeezy collection were ($195 T-shirts and $1,500 sweatshirts), perhaps trying to achieve a look of "real poverty" — and openly admitting that — wasn't the most appropriate or sensitive approach?

The writer also tells us a bit more about the home Beecroft shares with her children, photographer husband
Federico Spadoni, and a housekeeper.
"These days, Beecroft and Spadoni live in a house they call their 'favela.' It is at the top of a series of winding roads just below the HOLLYWOOD sign."

That's right. The couple refers to their house with "gorgeous" views of the hills of Hollywood as a favela. As in, the type of shack found in the slums of Brazil. Definitely not comparable, people.

Despite claiming that she's not really familiar with
Beyoncé, Beecroft says an upcoming project might be inspired by her. Says the writer of Beecroft:
"As for popular culture, she’s working on 'a Barbie doll project' for Mattel. Perhaps some of them will have 'caramel Beyoncé skin,' she says."

Did Beecroft really need to describe the Barbie as having "caramel Beyoncé skin"? Perhaps she could've just said she's working on a Barbie project, period? Also, as much as we love Queen Bey, she is not the sole proprietor of the caramel range of melanin. Just saying.

As if the first quote weren't enough, Beecroft reiterates her desire to be Black.

“My first Black project was originated by the fact that I met a bluesman from Chicago in Italy and he was white and he was really, really upset by being white, he kept saying, ‘If only I was Black.’ He felt discriminated against. And that really triggered something for me. I said, ‘I’m going to be Black, too’... I had wanted to move to the States because of the presence of African-Americans. When I landed at JFK, my first impression is being welcomed by all of these African, or maybe Jamaican, air people that help you at the airport with your luggage. They were so kind. Welcome! I was so happy to see mixed races. In Italy, they are in the street selling gadgets.”

Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse...

This is how Beecroft described her first trip to Africa.

“It was so beautiful...really aesthetical! And everyone looked like Alek Wek.”

EVERYONE, Vanessa? Everyone?

Believe it or not, there are even more outrageous statements in the interview — these are just some of the wildest. Kanye obviously respects this woman's artistic vision, and we know he is as unfiltered as they come. But maybe...just maybe, it's time for Kanye to have a chat with his collaborator. Because these kinds of out-of-touch statements are enough to cause even the most die-hard fans to decamp.
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