New York Magazine’s The Cut published a feature on Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft this morning and it’s giving us major Rachel Dolezal vibes.
Beecroft is well known for her collaborations with Kanye West; she’s the designer behind his fashion shows and his wedding. In the feature, called The Bodies Artist, Beecroft talks (among other things) about being cut from Kanye’s payroll by Kim Kardashian, and offers up some A+ quotes about what sounds like a racial identity crisis waiting to be diagnosed.
If you don’t read anything else, for the love of God, just read the first paragraph of the feature. Here it is, in full, because it’s just too good.
“The Anglo-Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft is not hugely concerned with conventional labels. The large-scale performance-art pieces she has been creating for the past 25 years have been entirely about bodies — often nude, usually female and standing stock-still in various martial phalanx formations — and she has always described this work as autobiographical. But for the past eight years, a significant percentage of what she has produced has been made in mind-meld with Kanye West. ’I have divided my personality,’ she says. ’There is Vanessa Beecroft as a European white female, and then there is Vanessa Beecroft as Kanye, an African-American male.’ Later she tells me, ’I even did a DNA test thinking maybe I am black? I actually wasn’t. I was kind of disappointed, and I don’t want to believe it. I want to do it again, because when I work with Africans or African-Americans, I feel that I am autobiographical. If I don’t call myself white, maybe I am not.'”
Let’s unpack this paragraph for a moment. A white, European 47-year-old woman took a DNA test because she thought she might be Black. And she was disappointed to find out that no, actually, she’s not Black because she’s a white, European woman! We need a followup interview with the person conducting the DNA test. What fresh hell is this?
“If I don’t call myself white, maybe I am not” has got to be one of the best interview lines of the year. It’s also the inspiration for my new outlook on life. I have student loans to pay, but if I say that I don’t, maybe I just, like, don’t have to pay them. Better yet, if I throw back seven shots on a Thursday night and am hungover on Friday, but I tell myself I didn’t drink anything, I won’t have to take Advil ever again! Denial: It’s a great way to live your life.
Here’s hoping Kanye speaks out about this—preferably via Twitter—at some point this week. It’s just too good to pass up. Oh, and let’s refer Beecroft to Dolezal. I have a feeling these two would hit it right off.
Watch Ja Rule talk about Rachel Dolezal and more in the video below.