Image for Artists Behind Splendour’s Controversial ‘Sad Kanye’ Artwork Respond To Criticism

Artists Behind Splendour’s Controversial ‘Sad Kanye’ Artwork Respond To Criticism

Written by Tom Williams on June 2, 2017

The art collective behind a controversial (and inflatable) ‘Sad Kanye’ artwork which is scheduled to appear at Splendour In The Grass in July have responded publicly after being accused of not taking Kanye West‘s recent mental health issues into account.

In a statement, Barcelona-based ‘Sad Kanye’ creators Hungry Castle address Yeezy directly, telling him, “This is not a diss track.

“Yesterday we announced plans to build a tribute sculpture of you,” they say.

“It’s based on an internet meme titled Sad Kanye and as artists, we believed it would be an interesting platform to spread a message of positivity and good vibes. The concept is simple, we plan to invite the entire world to climb inside your mind and make you happy.

“Our work is based on the internet, celebrity figures and meme cultures. It was never our intention to start a dialogue about mental health issues. But as you know more than anybody, great art can often be divisive and is ultimately open to the interpretation of the public.

“We want to thank the internet for opening our eyes to this viewpoint and we now see how this project could be viewed as insensitive. We believe mental health is a serious issue and if our art is bringing awareness to this (even if accidentally) than perhaps just perhaps that’s a good thing.”

Hungry Castle say they have decided to retitle the 10-metre high ‘Sad Kanye’ as ‘Happy Kanye’ ahead of its appearance at Splendour. Read their full statement, below.

West spent some time in a medical centre during his recent US ‘Saint Pablo Tour’, and was reportedly treated for paranoia and depression. It’s for this reason that a number of people criticised Splendour In The Grass and Hungry Castle following yesterday’s announcement of the ‘Sad Kanye’ prop, calling the artwork “distasteful”, “terrible” and “dismissive”.

If you or anyone close to you needs help or information regarding mental health, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Gallery: Best Of Splendour In The Grass 2016 – Day 2 / Photos: Maria Boyadgis

Hungry Castle Statement

Dear Kanye,

This is not a diss track.

Yesterday we announced plans to build a tribute sculpture of you. It’s based on an internet meme titled Sad Kanye and as artists, we believed it would be an interesting platform to spread a message of positivity and good vibes. The concept is simple, we plan to invite the entire world to climb inside your mind and make you happy.

Our work is based on the internet, celebrity figures and meme cultures. It was never our intention to start a dialogue about mental health issues. But as you know more than anybody, great art can often be divisive and is ultimately open to the interpretation of the public.

We want to thank the internet for opening our eyes to this viewpoint and we now see how this project could be viewed as insensitive. We believe mental health is a serious issue and if our art is bringing awareness to this (even if accidentally) than perhaps just perhaps that’s a good thing.

We’re fans of your rich body of work and we’re incredibly excited to share this playful installation with Splendour in the Grass and Bestival this year. Which is why we’ve decided to retitle the work HAPPY KANYE, which is what this is really all about. Good vibes

Sincerely,
your real friends.

Hungry Castle

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