Image via Essence
Rihanna has been transformed into an ethereal goddess for the January/February 2021 issue of Essence magazine.
The star shines bright like a diamond in a series of photographic collages for the cover and 12-page portfolio titled Of Earth & Sky, captured by artist Lorna Simpson.
Simpson, who is famous for recontextualizing images of black women from old Ebony and Jet magazine pages, managed to show off the star’s modern-day beauty by capturing her in a nebula, on a bridge, and other creative sights.
One image shows a cutout of the signer while she gazes downwards over her bare shoulder. The photo is amplified by a cloudburst of blue watercolor painted above her head. In another, Rihanna appears to be strutting down a bridge, lit up by the city in the background.
Superimposed onto a magazine page, she wears a black headdress with flamboyant feathers paired with black bustier, skirt and stilettos.
“I needed to create images of Rihanna to place within the environments of source materials from my archive,” Simpson told 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.”
Speaking about the shoot, Rihanna said, “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. It’s a natural trifecta. It’s like magic.”
Check out Rihanna’s latest Essence shoot here.