That Time Kim Kardashian Fired Vanessa Beecroft

She's now a contractor.

Vanessa Beecroft in 2005. Photo Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan.
Vanessa Beecroft in 2005. Photo Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan.

New York magazine’s Amy Larocca profiles performance art impresario and fashion maven Vanessa Beecroft this week, touching on the artist’s controversial events featuring naked women, her work staging fashion shows with Kanye West, her parentage, and her parenting style.

What are the 10 zaniest, most otherworldly, or potentially offensive things she said? We’ve got you covered with this roundup.

1. On Whether She Maybe is Black
“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.”

2. On Organizing a Refugee-Style Fashion Show for Kanye at MSG
“The image came out of one of my books, and I thought, Perhaps this is Woodstock, because it looked really fashionable and glamorous, but no. That was a refugee camp.”

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art. Courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art. Courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

3. On Getting Downgraded from a Full-Time Kanye Employee to a Contractor
“It was Kim Kardashian. She cut everything out.”

4. On the Potential Skin Tone of Her Mattel Barbie Doll, Now in Development
“Caramel Beyoncé skin.”

5. On Her Father
“He was completely radical. He drove old cars and smoked cigarettes, and he had a tweed jacket, white sneakers, tight pants, coconut oil.… People say, ‘How can you like him if he caused so much trouble to you and never helped?,’ but I still like him better than actors in movies.”

6. On the Genesis of her Fascination with Blackness
“When I was a child, I won a prize at school for drawing black children in a ship. There were probably 30 or 40 of them. A lot. I drew so many of them, and I won a prize because the sisters of the nursery school were kind of mesmerized. So you see, everything comes from somewhere.”

7. On Getting Death Threats after Trying to Adopt Twins From Darfur
“[It’s] very different from getting a bad review from a critic.”

8. On How Kanye is a Greek Tragic Figure…or an African King
“When Kanye approached me, his studio to mine, my assistants said you have to meet him, he’s important. I had just come from several trips to Africa where a Sicilian intellectual academic man who I had consulted for the documentary said, ‘You will find your Orestes in the U.S., and it will be an African-American man.’ So when Kanye contacted me, I said, ‘Here he is!’ Also, Pasolini said the next king of Africa will be an African-American king of music, so I said fine. I decided to go with it.”

9. Why Kanye Needs a Year to Buy a Couch
“One [Kanye] song says ‘Couches couches couches,’ because for one year it was, Which couch should I get?, because it’s a big deal!”

10. On How Raising Your Kids Like Aristocracy Isn’t Cheap
“I need to generate value, because there are nannies and tutors and trainers. I do not like for my children to go to group classes; I prefer that they have the best.”


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