In an interview with New York Magazine, the 47-year-old said, “There is Vanessa Beecroft as a European white female, and then there is Vanessa Beecroft as Kanye, an African-American male.”
Beecroft has teamed with Kanye West on all of his Yeezy fashion shows, which date back to almost a decade ago. The separation of her personality led her to test her genetics to see if she had any Black ancestry.
“I even did a DNA test thinking maybe I am Black? I actually wasn’t,” Beecroft explained. “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.”
She also revealed how she decided to become Black after meeting a bluesman in Europe.
“My first Black project was originated by the fact that I met a bluesman from Chicago in Italy and he was white and he was really, really upset by being white,” she explained. “He kept saying, ‘If only I was Black.’ He felt discriminated against. And that really triggered something for me. I said, ‘I’m going to be Black, too,’ ”
Black Twitter reacted swiftly to the artist’s assertion.
vanessa beecroft can’t honestly think she’s black because she’s been working with kanye….
— ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ (@llerameilla) August 9, 2016
someone pls photoshop rachel dolezal crying on vanessa beecroft’s face.
— Farhia Tato (@fureeah) August 9, 2016
READ RELATED STORY: Kanye West Opens Up About Depression & 2020 Presidential Run
Twitter also reacted to Beecroft’s inspiration behind the “Yeezy Season 3” fashion show in February – a photo of Rwandan refugees.
“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,” she told the magazine. “That was a refugee camp … I wanted the people to look poor. Poverty and elegance were the keywords. Poverty and elegance.”
— Madame Wellington S (@LoudBlackWomanX) August 9, 2016
Beecroft previously mentioned she was Black in an interview with W magazine earlier this year.
“I am protected by Kanye’s talent. I become Black. I am no longer Vanessa Beecroft, and I am free to do whatever I want because Kanye allows it,” she said.