Kanye West’s “Power” Painting Comes To Life

Becky Bain | August 5, 2010 8:41 pm

Artist/director Marco Brambilla recently described Kanye West’s clip for his biting single “Power” as a “video work that’s been commissioned by Kanye to accompany the music,” but whatever you want to call it—a music video, a video work, a portrait, or just straight-up awesome—it’s finally arrived. Just what kind of “beautiful death” are we in for? See for yourself behind the jump.

Kanye West – “Power”

The clip—which is based on Brambilla’s heaven-to-hell collage—is only 90 seconds long, whereas the full-length song clocks in at almost five minutes. It pictures Kanye at the center of a tableau, and as the camera scales back, the frame is filled with women with wings, other women protecting him, and various other ethereal and religious imagery. The clip concludes with Kanye about to be beheaded by two swords.

We’re not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like this from a mainstream artist—as short as it is (and we do wish it had been a full-length video featuring the entire song), it’s absolutely gorgeous. And we must hand it to Kanye yet again for continuing to stretch his imagination when it comes to his incredibly ambitious videos.

“It’s kind of apocalyptic, in a very personal way,” Brambilla told the New York Times. “It had this very dark, personal conflict within it. Because of his own concept of celebrity and his own notoriety, he’s keenly self-aware of all these things. And it all came out in the music.”

Here’s the full painting, ready to be printed out and framed on your wall: