Late in the evening of June 24, 2016, Kanye West made another jaw-dropping and thought-provoking move when he released his video for “Famous”, from his album “The Life of Pablo”, exclusively on Tidal. In a moment in the video, he artistically shows a scene of people laying naked in bed together.
The scene in the video was meant to recreate a piece by Vincent Desiderio entitled ‘Sleep’.
Every one of the people pictured in the scene surrounding Kanye has some connection with the artist. In some way, Kanye most likely feels they are some of the most famous people on the planet; especially due to not only their controversial behavior and lives but also because at some point in his career he has mentioned or crossed paths with each of them. The song itself focuses on the fame and wealth that he has accumulated throughout his career. We see people who have in some way shape or form changed the normal American culture; pictured (from left to right) George Bush, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian-West, Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner, and Bill Cosby.
Fans of Ye have since hit social media explaining how controversial the message is and how the way they received the pictured message, although it may not have been the way he wanted it to be publically received, is quite troubling. Why? Depicted are loud and obnoxious racists lying with those they want to rid the country of, known rapists, abusers and who they abused, etc. ‘We are all human’ could be one beautiful thought to take away from this piece. But why to choose such a heavily controversial crowd? Could Kanye be using this recreated piece of art in conjunction with his music to do something other than cause a buzz surrounding his name? He once said in an interview, “I just want to bring as much beauty to the world as possible.”
Admittedly, the song paired with the video does cause one to pause and think outside of the normal box… Which, essentially, is exactly what art is supposed to do. So for all those who are side-eying this move he has done, there’s the silver lining! I mean… Didn’t Lady Gaga wear a dress made of meat at the 2010 MTV awards made by Franc Fernandez in the name of art and to make a fashion statement? Huge congrats to Mr. West for successfully making art!
xoxo, Leana Shenise.
By the way, big thanks to Getty Images and my quick fingers taking screen shots from Tidal for the imagery.
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