Bestival 2017: We met the creators of the seven-meter Happy Kanye sculpture

“We want people to climb inside his mind, and make him happy from the inside out"

In the centre of Bestival, towering at seven meters tall and aboard a fluorescent rainbow is an inflatable sculpture of a grinning Kanye West.

The beacon of positivity has been created by the art collective Cool Shit and Hungry Castle. Four years ago they brought Lionel’s Richie Head to Bestival, and this year they’re back, with a sculpture twice the size in the form of Happy Kanye.

But why was it created? Danger Dave, part of the Cool Shit crew who created the masterpiece explained: “It’s based on an internet meme, from around 2014 called ‘Sad Kanye’, and there’s this iconic photo of Kanye West, with Kim. Kim’s rock climbing, she’s in the foreground and she’s smiling looking happy – and Kanye is just doing the thinking pose, looking down, in deep, deep, deep reflection. And the internet took that image, put it on a dolphin, on a spaceship, sent him off all around the world, and the internet made it a meme: which is the Sad Kanye Meme. And we wanted take that as a reference point, and put a positive spin on it for Bestival. The theme this year is colour, and so, Happy Kanye was created.”

Happy Kanye is an interactive work, and you’re encouraged to climb inside: “There’s an entrance on the right.” Danger Dave told us: “We want people to climb inside his mind, and make him happy from the inside out. And you make him happy, he makes you happy. It’s a two way relationship, of happiness.”

This is Happy Kanye’s second appearance, as it’s already been in Australia, and will head to Miami in December for their third show. And the final destination? “Kanye’s house” Danger Dave affirmed confidently. And does Kanye know about this plan?

“I don’t think he knows about it…but I think he needs to know that the sculpture exists. It’s a positive interpretation of him and his music!”

You can’t argue with that.