The Bajan pop superstar shines like an immaculate Mother Earth in a series of photographic collages for the cover and 12-page portfolio titled “Of Earth & Sky,” captured by Lorna Simpson. The 60-year-old renowned artist, who’s famous for recontextualizing images of Black women from old Ebony and Jet magazine pages and earned the J. Paul Getty Medal in 2018, interpreted modern-day beauty by capturing the global star in a nebula, on a bridge and more larger-than-life sights.
“Lorna is a legend. Honestly, I just didn’t think I could get her. But I like reaching for the stars and I like challenging myself,” Rihanna told the magazine, adding, “It’s a natural trifecta. It’s like magic.”
“[Collaborating] with Rihanna and Essence magazine is quite incredible,” Simpson said on set. “As an artist, I’m able to deliver these unusual images of someone who is so well-known and so recognizable… It’s an amazing opportunity.”
Essence’s January/February 2021 issue will be available online and on newsstands starting next Tuesday.
Check out Rihanna’s latest Essence cover shoot here.