American Vogue chose acclaimed artists Kerry James Marshall and and Jordan Casteel to to create paintings for its September covers. This isn’t the first time Vogue has put a painting on its cover. The artists follow the likes of Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Marie Laurencin, ans most recently, John Currin, who painted Jennifer Lawrence for the September 2017 issue. The difference between the latest covers and the previous ones is that this time is that Marshall and Casteel were given complete freedom to decide who would be on their cover. The got to choose a real or imaginary person, and how that person would be portrayed. The only requirement was that they choose a dress by one of four Vogue-selected designers for their subject to wear.
Discover more after the jump:
Kerry James Marshall created a fictional character dressed in a white formal evening dress by Off-White. The dress is spectacular, but what your eye goes to is the face.
“I’m trying to build into her expression that she’s not dependent on the gaze of the spectator.”
“‘I’m here and you can see me, but I’m not here for you.’ That’s a critical element. The great word, ultimately, is going to be ‘self-possessed.’ That’s what I’m aiming for.”
Jordan Casteel chose a real person as her subject, fashion designer Aurora James, who made headlines in June with her 15 Percent Pledge, a campaign to support Black-owned businesses.
“I believe that what Aurora is doing is hugely important in creating the long-term change that Black people deserve and this country owes us.”
“I see her as a light in a lot of darkness, and a potential for hope, a representative of change across all creative industries. What’s most exciting to me is being given artistic integrity and being able to choose the person to be my sitter—someone who reflects a portion of my own identity—and then to do that truly in the medium of my choice. This is the way that I speak to the world. And this is the way I’ve been speaking to the world and talking about the humanity of our people, talking about humanity in general. It’s a really profound experience. I do think I’m participating and a change is happening.”