12 naked celebrities sleep side-by-side in one giant bed: George W. Bush, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Ray J (Kim Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend), Amber Rose (Kanye West’s ex-girlfriend), Caitlin Jenner, and Bill Cosby.
It’s an unlikely mash-up to say the least, but these wax sculptures serve as Kanye West’s latest exhibit. The piece was originally featured in West’s “Famous” music video that premiered in June 2016. This past weekend, the sculpture was put on display at Blum & Poe gallery in Los Angeles. The peculiar exhibit has critics debating: is it art or is it rubbish?
Critics who argue that it isn’t art do so on the basis that Kanye didn’t create any of the art himself. Instead, he hired his “Content, Experience, and Product Company” DONDA (named after Kanye’s late mother) to construct life-like representations of each personage.
But Blum & Poe co-founder Tim Blume has a very different take on the matter.
“I can name you the top 20 artists in the world who don’t actually touch the sculptures being produced, or even the paintings,” Blume stated.
But critics also argue that Kanye’s exhibit is unoriginal due to the fact that is based on Vincent Desiderio’s painting Sleep.
Interestingly enough, Desiderio (whose own wife is featured in the painting) doesn’t seem to mind the borrowed inspiration. As it turns out, Desiderio based Sleep on Jackson Polluck’s 1943 painting Mural.
“Kanye turned a mirror onto the wretchedness of self-obsession and solipsistic fame. He’s trying to work at the highest level artistically, and I admire that,” Desiderio stated.
In regards to the meaning of the piece, Kanye West commented, “”It was an expression of our now, our fame right now, us on the inside of the TV. This is fame, bro. We all came over in the same boat and now we all ended up in the same bed.”