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The Conceptual Art of Vanessa Beecroft

The Conceptual Art of Vanessa Beecroft

ArtWizard, 20.05.2019


The artist preferred by Kanye West and most of the renown labels such as Prada, Helmut Lang and Dolce & Gabana

Since the nineties, Vanessa Beecroft started to show her performance art installations consisting of underdressed girls. In her latest performances they appear almost naked, they sit quietly and hardly move. All these art installations have been documented with Polaroid camera and video tapes, which according to the artist are the least interesting part of the whole performance, as the documents “get live” if the spectators have been present at the event itself. Being completely in line with the modern art movements, Beecroft offers something that cannot be translated with any media tools. Some of the women remind us of Pipi Long Stocking, others the women from the elegant compositions, the fashion reviews, the theater and movie scenes od Helmut Newton. It is quite difficult to however detect which one of these models discovers the real artistic views of the artist. The girls are usually dressed in the same manner and wear the same makeup in order to form a big composition of live figures, and the aim of the artist is to deprive them of their individual appearance, showing them on one performance very strong, on another, very fragile.

The suspense in these compositions is very strong because it is generated by some broken taboos and ancient beauty ideals, and the contrast between the naked body eroticism and the puppet fascination of naked dolls-mannequins. Neither the models nor the audience express any feelings, and what happens in their imagination is remains a complete mystery. There are no comments, the participants have their own ideas and feelings, but they remain unrelated.

In some of her performances, nude female models were assembled among marble and plaster sculptures, showing the contrast between the living women and the sculptures. The figures do not to move apart from one another and are instructed to either sit or lie down, in order to remain natural while ignoring the public’s gaze. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, the artist explained, “This state of passivity is very easy for them as they’ve been all well trained to behave like that throughout their lives.” As a feminist artist, Vanessa Beecroft is established for a long time already on the American conceptual art scene, ranking among the most progressive conceptual artist of the 20th century and beyond. She is an activist, who for the last twenty years has been questioning the female nude and the female status between object of desire and repulsion, through her performance pieces assembling dozens of women as one art performance object.

With Yeezy fashion shows, a capsule collection at Valentino and collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurant and many other fashion houses, the contemporary artist Vanessa Beecroft continues her performances for the biggest names in fashion since 1990.