So what exactly is the piece?
Well, it’s a video portrait of Kanye. It starts with a very tight shot introducing him that’s kind of a reinvention of a neoclassical painting. It pulls back from the shot, without any cuts, and we reveal the video canvas, populated by all these characters who are depicted in various stages of undress and decadence. The iconography comes from Roman iconography, Renaissance iconography, and it connects to the sexuality of the music as well. As we reveal the setting for it, there’s a feeling of a moment of transition for him. A fall from grace, if you will. It visualizes power, and him as the icon as power, and then at the end of the piece it challenges the power that I set up at the beginning. It’s an elliptical piece of storytelling.
How did you guys end up using that kind of imagery?
He approached me via my gallery and he wanted to do something that wasn’t a music video. He wanted a video work that would accompany the music. I said, “That’s great, because I don’t do music videos.” I wanted to give it an epic feeling. The song feels very personal, but the orchestration and the production of the track is epic and I wanted to give it something hypersensational and exaggerated.
And I understand you’ve heard that Dark Twisted Fantasy is the name of the album?
I’ve heard that’s the latest name. I would say not locked-in, and it would probably not get locked until closer to the time of the album release.
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