Vanessa Beecroft (Genoa, Italy, 1969) is an Italian contemporary artist living in New York.
Beecroft uses a unique, personal, artistic language. Her work is a complex fusion of conceptual issues and aesthetic concerns, focusing on large-scale performance art, usually involving live female models (often nude). At her performances, video recordings and photographs are made, to be exhibited as documentation of the performances, but also as separate works of art. The work and her conceptual approach is neither performance nor documentary, but something in between, and closer to Renaissance painting. She sets up a structure for the participants in her live events to create their own ephemeral composition. The performances are existential encounters between models and audience, their shame and their expectations. Each performance is made for a specific location and often references the political, historical, or social associations of the place where it is held. Beecroft’s first exhibition was VB01, in Milan, 1993, in which she presented a series of drawings along with the past eight years of her Food Diary. The following year she exhibited in New York for her first time, at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. Later in 1994, VB08 took place at P.S.1 in Long Island City, NY.