Vanessa Beecroft is an Italian artist, much of whose work is performance based. Her art often consists of female models as living art objects. They are both static and dynamic. Much of her work reflects upon her personal life and struggles. She suffers from an eating disorder herself and explores issues of body image and femininity in contemporary culture.
Her highly choreographed performance works examine what constitutes the perfect body, as well as the role of context in determining the role between the viewers and viewed. Her models are usually motionless which, perhaps is an indicator of just how powerless a person feels under societal pressure when they fail to live up to the designated standards expected to be adhered to. An example of this is her 2011 performance in which nude female models were assembled among marble and plaster sculptures, subverting the traditional viewing experience while emphasizing the affinities and the stark differences between the living and sculptures.
According to the New York Times, her confrontational approach and use of nudity have made her a controversial figure, whose work has been criticized for being “fascist and incorrect”, and whose performance has been called “hooters for intellectuals”
Hip-hop as an art form has historically embraced controversy, as a musician, Kanye West certainly has not shied away from it and has in fact only embraced it by collaborating with Vanessa on several occasion. They worked together on Kanye’s music for his video “Only one”. Beecroft also exhibited her sculptural work at Kanye’s wedding to Kim Kardashian in 2015.