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The Artist Who Inspired Kanye's 'Famous' Video Speaks Out

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Kanye West is known for stirring up controversy, and his latest music video for "Famous" is no exception. The video, which features several naked celebrities lying together in a bed, has received mixed reviews from viewers. Many people question whether this video can be considered art, especially when the celebrities pictured have clearly been exploited. We've heard the thoughts of people like Lena Dunham, who are rightfully disgusted by the video and its implications. However, we have yet to hear the opinion of the aritst who inspired Kanye's video—until now.

When the video was released, people immediately pointed out the the video was an interpretation of Vincent Desiderio's "Sleep," which also shows naked bodies lying amidst bed sheets. Believe it or not, Kanye actually collaborated with the 60-year-old artist in order to recreate the painting. Prior to the video's premiere, Vincent met up with Kanye to discuss the top secret details of the project—and the rapper brought left him at a loss for words.  

"I was really speechless. Kanye saw things in it that I don't know how he could've seen. Kanye is truly an artist," Vincent told NYT. "Talking to him was like speaking to any of my peers in the art world—actually, more like talking to the brightest art students that have their eyes wide open."

Vincent also went on to compare Kanye to famous artist Andy Warhol. "For Kanye, who lives in this world of celebrity and fame, the way I understand him now is that he's much more like Andy Warhol," he said. "But he's like an exploded internet version of Warhol allowing these celebs to hang themselves with their own words while he sits there and says, 'That's fabulous.'"

"Warhol was a mirror for the times. When Kanye goes through all these shenanigans, he's mirroring the times," he added.

While Lena Dunham and others might argue that the video elicits uneasiness among women, Vincent defended Kanye (and art in general). "Artists are not saints. They're not people whose first obligation is moral correctness. As much as I like Dunham and appreciate, art goes to dangerous places."


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