Coming from an Anglo-Italian family, Vanessa Beecroft trained in Genoa and then in Milan, at the Brera Academy, where she finished her studies in 1993. Her choice of expression, in some ways revolutionary, guaranteeing her worldwide recognition, is to envisage and achieve performance using semi-nude bodies of young women, moving according to precise choreographies, with appropriate melodic notes or variations of light.
Each of the subjects must remain faithful to a set of predefined rules: such scenarios aim to create “living pictures.” Art thus becomes performance, the moment in which it takes place, and, of course, the photographs that immortalize it. The focal point of her reflections reveal constant themes of gazes, desires, and the universe of fashion, displayed through an apparent detachment which is, in actual fact, profound emotional feeling. The whole is always scrupulously controlled by the artist, and becomes a living painting which is each time the subject of a photographic set and several videos, essential documentation for the conservation of the works.
His first performance was VB01, performed at the Galleria Luciano Inga-Pin in Milan, and his first solo exhibition took place at the Galleria Fac-Simile in Milan, in 1994.
She exhibited for the first time in New York at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, then in major international institutions: VB28 at the Venice Biennale in 1997, VB35 at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1998, VB43 at the Gagosian Gallery in London in 2000. She was also present at the São Paulo Biennale, the Vienna Kunsthalle, the Château de Rivoli and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.
Her research is increasingly tilting between creating a fashionable and sensual image and social engagement. In 2005, she exhibited at the opening of the Louis Vuitton boutique in Paris, and in 2007, she was at the Venice Biennale with VB61, Still Death! Darfur Still Deaf, a disturbing scene by about thirty women with black bodies, face down on a completely bloodied white canvas, created to draw the attention of the world to the genocide in Darfur.
His commitment continued in 2008 with the documentary The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins, presented at the Sundance Film Festival, and in 2009 with the Last Supper at the PAC in Milan.
She recently dedicated herself to sculpture by creating impressive fragments of women’s bodies in polychrome marble and stone.
She spends most of her time between Italy and the United States.