Blog
In the frame

Ye made this work famous—and you can buy it

Sotheby’s New York to sell Sleep which inspired the rapper's video fro Famous

Vincent Desiderio, Sleep (detail; 2008), which inspired Kanye West's Famous video Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, New York

Nudity sells, so tonight (9 October) at Sotheby’s in New York, the New York Academy of Art is holding its 27th annual Take Home a Nude auction to support programming and scholarships at the artist-founded school. The sale has around 150 works—many, but not exclusively, nudes—by artists such as Judy Chicago, Damian Loeb and Herb Ritts, whose model, the 1990s supermodel Helena Christensen, is among the muses honoured this evening. One lot sure to grab attention is a female nude by Vincent Desiderio based on a figure in his 2008 painting Sleep, a horizontal lineup of naked people sleeping in twisted sheets. Sleep was the inspiration behind the video for Kanye West’s 2016 song Famous, which infamously depicted life-sized snoozing nudes of characters including Anna Wintour, George W. Bush and West himself, sandwiched between his wife Kim Kardashian-West and Taylor Swift. The nude study to be auctioned appears to be the figure turned into West’s ex, Amber Rose, in the video.