Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kanye West and Power

Kanye West Power [Official Video]
Director: Marco Bambillo

I know I am late but I had to make a post about this video. Kanye West, the guy everyone loves to hate, released a short clip to accompany his latest single Power. The video is described as a "moving painting" and draws inspiration from various ancient civilizations. I am fascinated with the merging of art forms so I was incredibly impressed by the look of the video. It does what it is supposed to do. It looks like a work of art that shifts before your eyes. The song's message is one of power, nihilism and the pitfalls/perks that comes with it. It leaves room for the imagery that Kanye decided to use. The Greek, Roman, and Egyptian empires (among others) are examples of power at its best and how power can corrupt when its possessors become obsessed with creating a farther reaching grip. There is also a clear inspiration from the Michelangelo Sistine Chapel artwork. Anyway, the Illuminati theorists have been going crazy about it, given the relics used throughout the video. [Insert a big "Whatever"]

From artist/director Marco Bambillo:

I thought I should just do a portrait of Kanye and it should be like a video portrait, which we did in extreme slow motion and then we took his image and kind of blew it up all out of proportion. And then we surrounded him with every kind of icon of decadence, sexuality and excess and kind of exaggerated all that, Then I contextualized it into a neoclassical painting, and that’s when it all clicked. I showed him a lot of references of different painters - [Michelangelo Merisi da] Caravaggio, Michelangelo, [Peter Paul] Rubens…So a lot of the references were classic lighting and very elegant color palettes and he likes that kind of visual as well.

[Kanye’s] really visually sophisticated, so once I showed him the first collage I did he called me and said “Oh my god I really like this, it’s what we should do,” and at that point that’s when I started casting and preproduction on the piece. [source]

If I may draw from his album title, Kanye has done a "good ass job" with this one.

Sidenote: If you visit Kanye's blog, you would notice that he has become fixated on power in general lately. He posts images of iconic figures of ancient civilizations such as Egyptian goblets and crowns and scepters from royal families. One of his latest posts consisted of a pic of a ring that belonged to Napoleon. Kanye looks up to Napoleon? That explains a lot. haha


quarterlifecynic said...

I truly do not understand the illuminati/satanic references to this video. It is visually stunning in my opinion. Anyone who understands even just a little bit of art/world history and mythology would enjoy it. I found a video about his performance of this song at the BET music awards...all I can say is it made me SMH and LOL at so many people.

george.arnett said...

Right. People are grasping at straws. The video is amazing.