Kanye West is THE popular music icon of the early 21st century. He is a major artist – musician, producer, fashion and graphic designer. He is married to Kim Kardashian, and together they are the most famous celebrity couple on the planet. We propose a mausoleum for Kanye West in the tradition of mausolea of great artists combined with museums, for example the Thorwaldsen Museum, Copenhagen and Canova’s tomb, the Temple of Possagno. Indeed an early drawing by Soane indicates a place for a ‘Mausoleum’ within the Museum at Lincoln’s Inn Fields suggesting that he considered this possibility before the death of his wife and the construction of the family tomb at St Pancras.
The Urban Version (to be built in Los Angeles in the grounds of Kanye and Kims’ estate) will be 7 metres metres high, the opening at the base 2.4 metres above ground affording a glimpse into the gilded interior. We imagine the structure is cast in bronze, then gilded and enamelled. It will include a polished basalt sculpture of Kanye’s head and his music will be an integral part of the installation.
The Desert Version (to be built in the Mojave Desert). This ideal version is the height of the Great Pyramid at Giza plus Kanye’s height and is thus nearly 150 metres high. The mausoleum is combined with a museum dedicated to Kanye and Kim. The inverted shell structure contains a vast interior domain conceived as a multi-sensory environment on thirty levels capped by a cloistered frieze. The shell is raised above the ground and entered by lifts and staircases concealed within the Karyatids. The vessel is lined with gold leaf and is host to a gigantic holographic projection of Kanye’s head, only visible when dark – it will glow and light up the night sky.