We remember well when Beyonce secured a spot for photographer Tyler Mitchell to shoot her cover for Vogue, no doubt resulting in his most recent Vogue cover of soon-to-be Madame Vice President, Kamala Harris. 

This week, another monumental cover hit the stands, where contemporary art meets fashion, with a collaboration between Lorna Simpson and Rihanna for Essence magazine. The interwebs are loving it! But this is not Rihanna’s first turn at centering a contemporary black artist for one of her covers. Back in 2018, the bad girl worked with Deana Lawson on a spread for Garage Magazine

Check out these occasions where Rihanna became the art along with other works from these artists.  And why not play a little Ri Ri while you’re doing it! 

Lorna Simpson came to prominence in the 1980’s with her pioneering approach to conceptual photography. In 2019, she was awarded the J. Paul Getty Medal for excellence in her decades-long career.

LORNA SIMPSON, JET #15, ’60, 2012

Simpson’s most recent work, a series of collages based on images from Ebony and Jet magazines, enshrines the beauty of archival black imagery, and served as the reference for the Essence series with Rihanna.

Deana Lawson is a photographer whose work examines the body’s ability to channel personal and social histories, addressing themes of familial legacy, community, romance, and religious-spiritual aesthetics.
Cortez, 2016

Living Room, Brownsville, Brooklyn, 2015

In 2020, Lawson was awarded the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize, only the thirteenth artist to receive the award and the first in photography. This stunning collaboration merged Lawson’s vivid staged documentary style with Rihanna’s over-the-top glamour.

Posted in Art
Posted by:Alex Delotch Davis

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