Vincent Desiderio, the artist behind the painting that inspired Kanye's infamous "Famous" video
"It began with a random phone call: "Kanye West is trying to get in touch with Vincent Desiderio. It is extremely important that he return our call." After a series of missed calls and frantic text messaging I came to learn that I was being invited to fly out to Los Angeles the next morning to meet the acclaimed artist, and that Kanye, "being a tremendous fan" of my work-I'm using quotes, because one hears that phrase so often in the art world that it might as well mean, "I have no idea who you are and please don't call me out on this"-wanted me to be present at an event the Forum in L.A. No other information was given."
"What was demonstrated was the power of the artistic imagination to transcend categorical expectations, and the fluidity of the transfer of codes deeply embedded within the apparatus of our preferred mediums. Kanye West's video demonstrates how art speaks the language of art, how visual codes people the artistic imagination, enlivening the matrix of possibilities that are always and everywhere about us, but barely perceptible to those who focus only on the surface."