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Artist Lorna Simpson Photographed Rihanna for the New Cover of "Essence" Magazine

Rihanna by Lorna Simpson for Essence Magazine 2020.

The worlds of popular culture and fine art often overlap--from Jay-Z singing about Picasso, to Lady Gaga working with Jeff Koons. These worlds meet again on Essence Magazine's latest cover featuring Rihanna photographed by Lorna Simpson. Reporting for Artnet News, Caroline Goldstein discusses how the collaboration is a part of Simpson's ongoing collage series, which reinterprets images of Black women who have posed for iconic Black women's publications, such as Ebony and Jet.

“I needed to create images of Rihanna to place within the environments of source materials from my archive,” Simpson said in a statement from Essence. “Knowing Rihanna’s charisma and commanding presence, my effort was then to be as present and prepared as possible to capture her exquisite performance for the camera.” -Lorna Simpson
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