Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vanessa Beecroft: She Should Have Been a Cat Lady

Vanessa Beecroft or, as I like to call her, "that crazy lady that tried to essentially steal two Sudanese orphans because she's secretly fixated on Africa," was certainly an interesting artist to research. In terms of liking her, I'm sure you can look at the title of this post and my catchy nickname for her and get the impression that I don't really like her at all. And you'd be right. That doesn't make her art bad or offensive, but she's the type of artist that repels my personality.
VB45 by Vanessa Beecroft
While garnering attention for her semi-controversial installations, Beecroft's overall artistic stance and mental state have reached such a degree of dereliction that her art fails to be impactful. In the context of Relational Aesthetics, Beecroft attempts to turn art into a social institution by implying viewers into a normally awkward interstice between people at different stages and in different modes of dressing. By making the viewer feel out of place, she succeeds in making the audience uncomfortable but fails to leave a lasting impression due to her overarching obsession with fashionable female forms.
From Point to Artist by Vanessa Beecroft

Beecroft's work is not as controversial as she would have perhaps only the blind believe, but that does not make it unsuccessful in terms of Relational Aesthetics. I think she if she is a part of that movement, it's almost of utmost importance to make the splash she's trying to make, but all the same I interpret the movement as more nuanced than that. It is unsuccessful because the interactions and interstices should not have to be contrived in such a way that they are abundantly and instantly clear as Art with a capital A.


  1. Although you may think that your artist is a little eccentric, she seems to have extremely unique ideas and an unusual approach to her work. After all, she is a contemporary artist and their work is meant to be abstract, mysterious and even incomprehensible sometimes.
    I think Beecroft's work fits really well into relational aesthetics because it interacts directly with the viewers and makes them a part of her "process of creation." Without the viewers, her work would become incomplete, and monotonous, as she follows similar themes and ideas for all of her installations. It is the viewers who make her artwork unique every time as they react differently when they enter into a gallery full of nude models!

  2. I think Vanessa Beecroft is an artist that also repels my personality, but like Anam said, she really does have a unique approach to her work. I think part of the main theme in her work can be the sense of discomfort but also the thought provoking question why, because you did mention in your presentation that you couldn't find much on why.

  3. I agree with Anam as well to say I think she is an interesting artist and has a lot of ideas worth researching and reflecting on. As you know Hillary, the people in art history that make a major impact on their audiences are not usually the sane ones. (tehe). But anyways, I'm glad you still got something out of her work and I really enjoyed your presentation.

  4. Doesn't her work point toward spectacle and the utter strangeness of fashion models? She allows the audience to gawk at real people sharing the same space. Alive and breathing instead of embalmed on a magazine page. Still wrapping our minds around babies as fashion accessories...

  5. I think it's really interesting that Beecroft chooses to use fashion models in her work, especially in association with Vogue, because Vogue is kind of like high art/fashion that you can buy at the grocery store. It's like she's integrating high art and low art in a new way while at the same time making a critique on the high pressure world of fashion modeling. Or maybe I'm just biased because I like Vogue....