June 28, 2016


Vincent Desiderio Writes Essay On Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ Video


Kanye West’s “Famous” music video has drawn its share of detractors, but the artist whose painting inspired the clip seems pleased with the outcome. 

Vincent Desiderio, in an essay for W Magazine, recalls how Kanye West contacted him and invited him to the “Famous” screening in Los Angeles. Upon noticing the eerie similarity to his own painting Sleep, Desiderio writes:

“I began to recognize that the naked bodies floating past the camera lens were in positions identical to the figures in my painting, 'Sleep.' Could Kanye have seen my painting? There were so many similarities. Yes, it was my painting. It had been sampled, or “spliced,” into a new format and taken to a brilliant and daring extreme!”

Desiderio continues waxing poetic about Kanye's reinterpretation and how the video built upon Sleep’s meaning. Lena Dunham recently logged onto Facebook to give her opinion on the “Famous” clip, calling it “disturbing” and “sickening.” Of those depicted in the video, Chris Brown asked why he was the only one with a “plumbers butt.” 

Revisit an archival interview with Kanye below.