Not content with simply hiring one of the world’s most expensive fashion photographers – David LaChapelle – to shoot an artfully surrealist Kardashian family Christmas card, Kanye West has gone one step further in his quest to commandeer the art world.
The rapper paid a cousin of the late Andy Warhol upwards of $30,000 to paint a portrait of his beloved reality TV star fiancée, Kim Kardashian.
Speaking about her big commission yesterday (the image of which, above, In Touch revealed exclusively), Monica Warhol said she thought her famous relative would have loved Kim to sit as a subject for his own work.
“She's famous for nothing,” Monica told Page Six. “Kim is beautiful. She's so manufactured. She looks like a human Barbie.”
Despite never having met Andy, who died in 1987 when she was just 10 years old, Monica claims that she’s meticulously studied his modern approach. She also admitted she’d not owned a single book of his artwork until around a year ago.
Even so, her prints are reminiscent of her cousin’s pop art. Plus, she’s already scrawled portraits for several of the music industry’s elite artists, including Hendrix-a-like Lenny Kravitz and rapper Flo Rida.
The news comes not just as Kanye’s latest excessive declaration of love to his bride-to-be, but also his most recent foray into the world of art and design.
The musician recently gave a lecture – the first in a series university talks – to students at Harvard Graduate School of Design on architecture.
Watched on from the wings by Kardashian herself, Kanye told the theatre: “I really do believe that the world can be saved through design, and everything needs to actually be 'architected.' And this is the reason why even some of the first DONDA employees were architects that started designing t-shirts instead of buildings. But just to see the work actually be actualised.”
Named after his late mother, DONDA is Kanye’s multi-million creative company.
“I believe that utopia is actually possible,” he continued. “But we're led by the least noble, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political.”
Kanye’s quest to make his latest business venture a success saw him pitch to investors in Silicon Valley last week, reports suggest. However, venture capitalists are said to need a little more convincing before they plough their hard-earned millions into the company Kanye claims is set to seriously “disrupt the fashion industry”.
Speaking to VallyWag, a source said: “I think he's getting frustrated. People are enjoying meeting him because he's Kanye and they want to take him around, but then they're not actually investing.
”If you see his behaviour, it's so erratic, he's not focused and kind of all over the place.”
Of course, Kanye’s latest fashion disruption comes in the form of a boycott: the rapper asked fans to withhold spending the spare thousands they definitely don’t have lying around on items made by the French fashion house, after he felt he was snubbed by the firm’s vice-president Yves Carcelle during a visit to Paris.
Kanye West is currently on his Yeezus tour of North America, which is set to run until 23 December, before heading to Europe in 2014.