Perky and rotund, Caitlin Jenner’s breasts are nothing short of amazing. Their uncannily perfect likeness, lightly grazing the arms of a naked Bill Cosby to her left and a naked Amber Rose to her right, are heaving to the pace of a restful sleep for two nights only at the Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe.
Last night the gallery unveiled the provocative sculpture that made its debut in “Famous,” the infamous Kanye West single that purported that he and Taylor Swift “might still have sex” (consequently giving us months of very public, passive-aggressive back-and-forth that culminated in that epic Kim Kardashian Snapchat heard ’round the world). West's adaptation of Vincent Desiderio’s “Sleep,” an aerial-view painting of unnamed, naked sleepers, replaced Desiderio's anonymous characters with an array of pop culture icons: West, lying peacefully between his wife and Swift; Anna Wintour; Donald Trump; Chris Brown; Rihanna and more. At the center of the gallery, they lay naked across a set of casually rumpled white sheets raised on a plinth. In its hyperrealism, it was beautiful.
While we were bummed to hear that, in the midst of the East Coast leg of West's Saint Pablo tour, the rapper would not make it to his own private viewing of the exhibition, he did make an appearance — and not just the naked silicon-sculpted version of himself. On a video conference screen hoisted on a set of wheels, what was essentially Robot Kanye propelled himself around the gallery via the arrow keys of his Macbook from his apartment in New York. Robot Kanye had arrived early on site to inspect the installation, the lighting, and “the vibe,” according to his staffers, who said that he’s overseen every detail from start to finish.
“Where is Eli?” Robot Kanye asked, in search of a member of his Donda design team. Unable to use his own hands, he needed someone to adjust the sheets for him.
The tableau of naked celebrities was, naturally, the stuff viral social media posts are made of. When the Kardashians walked in, they did no less than part the sea of Snapchatters and Instagrammers who were getting in the way of Kim and Robot Kanye’s photo op, with Kendall Jenner as iPhone photographer.
“Please step back!” their associates called. Kim and Kendall then tried FaceTiming Caitlin. Sadly, she didn’t pick up.
We learned a lot about the as-yet unnamed sculpture at the center of the controversial video. West had initially envisioned the piece as an animation, but ever the over-achiever, instead enlisted a team of sculptors, tattoos artists and various other artisans to make a 3-D version that would realistically inhale and exhale. While some of these figures were ones which he’d actually seen naked (his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose, and his wife, Kim Kardashian), there were others he presumably hadn’t (Anna Wintour, George W. Bush), which took the exhaustive research and analysis of thousands of images and consultations with stylists to get every hair, every cheekbone, every cup size exactly right. Some were more difficult to approximate than others, like Trump, “who basically wiped every shirtless picture of himself off of the Internet,” a source close to Kanye told us.
“It’s a serious piece of art,” the kind people would want to collect, said gallery co-founder Tim Blum. Always one to stand by her man, Kardashian West played a major role in its creation.
“I shaved my own butt,” she explained to us last night. “It was a little too small, and then it was a little too big. I was there with the tools to get it right.” That’s when Robot Kanye rolled up to say goodnight before heading to bed.
“Hi babe,” Kardashian West said to Robot Kanye. “I was just talking about how I shaved my own butt. No, she won’t think that! I didn’t shave my butt in real life... I don’t think that’s possible… I love you.” And then she air-kissed Robot Kanye goodnight.
The things we can do with technology these days.
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