Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yeezy Does It.

Kanye's crazy. We know this. The mad man whose ego could unfurl down the winding path of The Great Wall of China and still be in reserve, is kind of an asshole kind of often. You could cite a thousand examples of this, or just one that we all remember as an award-winning moment. The thing is though that in addition to his immature petulance being remarkable, West is good, damn good. His word work is arguably second to none. He drops lines that baffle in their cleverness. His music reverbs with intelligence and swift wit, as well as brain wrapping beats that bust through radio speakers and headphones clear across any societal divide. He's a star, and has been since his first wire-jawed crash onto the scene, but now he's a tastemaker and a filmmaker.

My first notice of the 35 minute time clock running down at the bottom bar of West's long-form music video fro Runaway elicited a reflexive mouse over to the fast forward button, but I never made use of it. Besides for featuring West's awesome new crop of songs, the video is expertly art directed. The colors and scenery are hypnotic, sturated and frenetic. Although the director's credit goes to West, (maybe an ego feed?) the video's lifeblood is contemporary artist and credited Art Director Vanessa Beecroft's. Beecroft made a name for herself in the 90s and aughts by gathering groups of similarly styled women into gallery spaces for fashion heavy art sit-ins. Her work was beloved and accepted by the fashion world, which also trades mightily in the gathering of static, aesthetically similar females.

Stills from Vanessa Beecroft performance pieces, 1993 to 2010.

Ms. Beecroft's hand in the Runaway piece mends a puzzle for me: I watched Kanye's VMA performance with its cavalry of same-same stylized dancers thinking that Ms. Beecroft would be proud. Now I see that she's more than inspired the work, she's been involved! West's sonic cinema also gathers other top talents. Philip Lim is responsible for the sartorial aspects, and the legendary, ubiquitous costume magicians at Izquierdo Studio turned model-made-actress Selita Ebanks into a Victoria's Secret version of a phoenix hell bent on setting their fine feathered work ablaze. The always hip Hype Williams is given a writer's credit, which smells funky to me in light of his phenomenal director's reel. Perhaps Hype did more "writing" by directing this top notch video with Kanye. No matter the semantics of titles, the video is obviously the result of some dream team work and obviously an instant classic. Keep it comin' Yeezy (and team) because it's raising the bar so damn high and us fans like it very much.

1 comment:

nicole s. said...

dear anna,

thank you for making my day.

nicole s.