Kanye's 'Famous' Sculpture Not Selling for Millions
Jun 04, 2023
"It's a serious piece of art," Blum & Poe Art Gallery co-founder Tim Blum said
Stephanie Petit is a Royals Editor, Writer and Reporter at PEOPLE.
Despite reports, Kanye West's "Famous" sculpture is not selling for millions of dollars.
Over the weekend, a Los Angeles art gallery displayed the 12 wax figures depicting nude sleeping celebrities that appeared in Kanye West's controversial "Famous" music video – and the New York Times reported they were hoping to fetch $4 million for the piece.
However, a rep for the rapper tells PEOPLE in a statement the report is not accurate.
"We are incredibly flattered that a number is being reported but at no point have we ever disclosed a sale price for the piece," says his rep. "The writer whose story was published in the NY Times unfortunately based his reporting on hearsay, conjecture, uninvolved third parties and the lack of fact checking. Once again we are flattered by such interest, but as far as Mr. West is concerned – it's all about the art. We are looking forward to announcing when Famous will be available again for viewing."
The rapper's wife, Kim Kardashian West, was on-site to open the exhibition and told W magazine how she played a role in crafting her own silicone likeness.
"I shaved my own butt," the 35-year-old reality star said at the event. "It was a little too small, and then it was a little too big. I was there with the tools to get it right."
West, 39, also made an appearance via video call.
The sculpture features naked bodies that resemble Taylor Swift, George W. Bush, Anna Wintour, Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Bill Cosby – as well as West and Kardashian West themselves and their former romantic partners, Amber Rose and Ray J. Inspired by Vincent Desiderio's 2008 "Sleep" painting, the figures appear lumped together on an abnormally large bed with a single sheet covering their bodies. They're even programed to inhale and exhale, and guests can watch their chests rise and fall as if breathing in deep slumber.
"It's a serious piece of art," Blum & Poe Art Gallery co-founder Tim Blum told W.
Aaron Axelrod, an L.A. based artist, agrees that the piece has merit, despite its unlikely source.
"I did the math in my head, and it took $500,000 to $1 million just to make," he told the New York Times. "This caught me off guard. It's one of the coolest pieces I've ever seen, which is kind of annoying because it's Kanye West."
The "Famous" video, which West debuted in June at The Forum in Inglewood, California, took three months to perfect.
"It's not in support or anti any of [the people in the video]. It's a comment on fame," West told Vanity Fair, adding that the nudity in the video was not meant to be erotic. "We were very careful with shots that had [something] sexual to take them out," he said.
In the same interview, West also stated that Kardashian West gave the music video her stamp of approval. "[I say] a lot of lines other wives would not allow a husband to say. But my wife also puts up photos that other husbands wouldn't let them put up," he said. "One of the keys to happiness in our marriage is we're allowed to be ourselves. Our life is walking performance art."