Vanessa Beecroft

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Vanessa Beecroft
Beecroft in White Madonna with Twins (2006)
Born (1969-04-25) April 25, 1969 (age 50)
Genoa, Italy
EducationCivico Liceo Artistico Nicolò Barabino, Architettura, Genoa
Accademia Ligustica Di Belle Arti Pittura, Genoa
Brera Academy, Milan
Known forPerformance, photography, drawing, painting, sculpture
Notable work
VB Performances
MovementRelational art

Vanessa Beecroft (born April 25, 1969) is an Italian contemporary performance artist. She works in the United States. Many of her works have made use of professional models, sometimes in large numbers and sometimes naked or nearly so, to stage tableaux vivants.[1]


VB61, Still Death! Darfur Still Deaf? (2007) at the 52nd Venice Biennale

Beecroft’s first exhibition was VB01, in Milan (1993); the following year she exhibited at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, which was the first time she had exhibited in New York City. Later in 1994, VB08 took place at P.S.1 in Long Island City, New York.

VB55 (2005) featured one hundred women standing still in Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie for three hours, each woman oiled from the waist up and wearing nothing but a pair of pantyhose.

In October 2005, Beecroft staged a performance on the occasion of the opening of the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.[2] For the same event, Beecroft placed models on the shelves next to Louis Vuitton bags.[3]

On the occasion of the 52nd Venice Biennale, Beecroft staged one of her most politically engaged performances, VB61, Still Death! Darfur Still Deaf? (2007). It involved "approximately 30 Sudanese women lying face-down on a white canvas on the ground, simulating dead bodies piled on top of one another" and represented the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.[4]

Beecroft’s attempt to adopt Sudanese twins was the topic of the documentary The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins by Pietra Brettkelly, which was included in the Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Documentary Competition; the film presents Beecroft as a "hypocritically self-aware, colossally colonial pomo narcissist" and chronicles her "damaging quotes and appalling behavior" as she attempts to adopt two Sudanese orphans for use in an art exhibit.[5][6]

A performance at PAC in Milan in March 2009 featured a "Last Supper" of African immigrants, legal and illegal, dressed in suits, eating chicken without cutlery.[7][8] In 2010 she exhibited at the Mercato Ittico di Napoli [it].[9]


From her marriage to sociologist Greg Durkin she has two sons who were born three years apart (October 2001, July 2004). Later after she and Greg Durkin got divorced she had another two children, one girl who was born (July 2009) and another son born (September 2012); when her third son was around two she married her current husband who is also an artist. [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Francis Summers. Beecroft, Vanessa. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (subscription required).
  2. ^ Louis Vuitton :: Louis Vuitton Hosts a Star-Studded Celebration for the Inauguration of Its Champs-Elysees House (archive link)
  3. ^ artnet Magazine – PARIS À LA MODE
  4. ^ Vanessa Beecroft VB61 Still Death! Darfur Still Deaf?
  5. ^ ‘Art Star’ Vanessa Beecroft: Slammed at Sundance – Vulture
  6. ^ Glen Helfand (January 23, 2008). "LETTER FROM... More than Movies". ARTINFO. Retrieved 2008-04-24. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea
  8. ^ MIART è la mostra internazionale
  9. ^ Press release VB66
  10. ^ Thurman, Judith. Essay: "The Wolf at the Door" in Cleopatra's Nose. New York, Simon and Schuster, 2006.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dave Hickey, Vanessa Beecroft: Performances (Hatje Cantz, 1999)
  • Marcella Beccaria, Germano Celant, Jeffrey Deitch, Thomas Kellein, Vanessa Beecroft Performances, 1993–2003 (Castello di Rivoli, 2003)
  • Karin Kampwerth, Vanessa Beecroft (Hatje Cantz, 2004)
  • Thomas Kellein, Vanessa Beecroft: Photographs, Films, Drawings (Bielefeld Städt Kunstthalle, 2004)
  • Francesco Bonami, Maria Luisa Frisa, Line Rosenvinge, Vanessa Beecroft: VB53 (Charta Books, 2005)
  • Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, Mario Scaglia, Vanessa Beecroft: Drawings and Paintings 1993–2007 (Electa, 2007)
  • Alexandra Polier, Jeffrey Deitch, Riccardo Lisi, Vanessa Beecroft: VB LV (Charta Books, 2007)
  • Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, VB65 PAC Milano: Vanessa Beecroft (Electa Mondadori, 2010)

Media related to Vanessa Beecroft at Wikimedia Commons