The music video for Kanye West‘s new song, “Power,” has debuted online and features the rapper posed as a Caesar with Roman-like cameos.
Directed by artist Marco Brambilla, the video’s overall presentation is introduced to viewers as a living painting.
The clip begins with an up-close shot of Kanye West and pans out to reveal a living portrait of the rapper surrounded by supernatural figures from various historical eras. The clip has the feel of a slow-motion Roman orgy, with West being the Caesar at the center. And then, 90 seconds into the song, that’s it. Painting gone. You have to hope there will be an extended version to see soon. (Wall Street Journal)
Brambilla recently revealed the motivation behind West’s new video.
“I shot images of the casting, people who came in as dancers and models and actresses in the various poses, and then it was put together as a photograph originally,” Brambilla said. “We had very little time to shoot it. We only had a day to shoot, it so I basically know exactly how each element would look, where each element would go and how the whole piece would choreograph, because there’s about 24 layers of video in the piece, and they are all interconnected. So it’s almost like a visual ballet in a way, and it had to be pre-planned in a very specific way to make it cohesive and to make it work. That was the most challenging part of it: how to [translate] it from a still, a painting, and then make the painting come alive into the filming and the photography.” (MTV)
West, who is the first person shown in the clip, is heavily decked out in Roman-like jewelry.
The finished product comes in the form of an “apocalyptic” “work,” which sees West — draped in black and with a heavy gold chain around his next — standing in God-like form. As the camera zooms out in one continuous, unedited take, the God-like imagery becomes more vivid and West is revealed to be a classical structure, surrounded by nude women. But as the entire scene comes into view, we learn that the Sword of Damocls is hanging above and this becomes not a representation of glory but rather of execution. (Consequence of Sound)
Writing via Twitter Thursday night, West also put followers on to his music video premiere.
“10 mins till ‘THE PORTRAIT OF POWER’ on MTV!!! I’m in Korea trying to get a stream,” he tweeted.
“It’s not a video .. It’s a moving Painting!!!”
“POWERhttp://www.kanyeuniversecity.com/blog/.” (Kanye West’s Twitter)
Check out Kanye West’s music video below: