Kanye is inarguably a master at stirring up trouble and pitting himself against outside forces, real or imagined. Seems he pulled of one of his better stunts last year when he claimed his first choice for cover art for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy had been “banned.” West then lashed out at retailers, specifically Wal-Mart, claiming he didn’t make music for them. But now the truth seems to have come out. According George Condo, the creator of the banned cover and all of the other Twisted Fantasy covers, West directly requested an image that would be banned.

In a piece in the current issue of the New Yorker written by Calvin Thomas, Condo’s interactions with West are described by Thomas: “West said that he had seen paintings by Condo, and wanted to collaborate with him. According to Condo, he also said that he was looking for “something that will be banned. West came to Condo’s studio, where for several hours they listened to tapes of his music, and over the next few days Condo made eight or nine paintings. Two of them were portraits of West, one in extreme closeup, with mismatched eyes and four sets of teeth. Another showed his head, crowned and decapitated, placed sideways on a white slab, impaled by a sword. There was also a painting of a dyspeptic ballerina in a black tutu, a painting of the crown and the sword by themselves in a grassy landscape, and a lurid scene of a naked black man on a bed, straddled by a naked white female creature with fearsome features, wings, no arms, and a long, spotted tail. West chose that one.”

So, once again, Kanye shows himself to be a very astute provocateur. Next up for West is the January 11th premier of the first single, “H.A.M.”, from Watch the Throne, his collaborative album with mentor Jay-Z.