“That’s a good painting. She’s a kind of fragment, between a sphinx, a phoenix, a haunting ghost, a harpy. And then Kanye is also in some sort of strange 1970s burned-out back room of a Chicago blues club having a beer — so far away from the real Kanye West that it’s just a scream.”
“It’s sort of cubist, you know, this portrait with all these different dimensions to it. Like an African mask with almost a modern face. I wanted to get that feeling that he’s almost a Miles Davis-like guy.”
“His tragedy was a kind of exile that Kanye imposed upon himself. He was free from exile by having the cathartic moment in the image. He’s alive in the painting, you know what I mean? In a strange way it’s like, he opened his eyes.”
“We were hanging around one night, and we were listening to that tune ‘Runaway,’ and somehow Kanye grabbed onto that idea of the ballerina. He just said, ‘Hey man, I’d like to have a great ballerina painting.’ I thought of a ballerina toasting. You know, ‘let’s toast to the scumbags.'”
“[Kanye and I] talked about paintings in the early baroque era depicting religious figures, and wanted to push that out into the open in today’s world. It mirrors the ‘paranoid’ riff on one of the tracks.”
All images and quotes via Vulture.