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Tschabalala Self's Portrait of Nicki Minaj features on Digital Vogue Cover

Tschabalala Self, One of the most in-demand artists working today, captures the essences of Queen of Rap, Nicki Minaj, who recently graced the cover of Vogue’s December issue to celebrate the release of her highly anticipated album Pink Friday 2

Image of Hibiscus Rising, a powerful 10-metre high sculpture by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA
Artwork: Tschabalala Self, Vogue, December 2023.

Tschabalala Self seemed just the right artist to do a portrait of Nicki Minaj—someone able to conjure an iconic yet unconventional image, and one unlike anything else out there. How do you make a picture of the world’s Queen of Rap, a wildly popular celebrity whose many alter egos are already branded in our minds?

When we asked Tschabalala to do a portrait of Nicki for Vogue’s December digital cover—using photographer Norman Jean Roy’s cover shoot as a starting point—she was surprised and electrified by the idea, and maybe just a tad concerned about the Barbz, Nicki’s idolizing and hyper-vocal fan base, whose members are ready to do battle with whatever anyone says about her. - Vogue Correspondent

“I love Nicki Minaj. She is my favorite rapper. I am a Barb, so I was pretty thrilled to be asked.” And doing a Vogue cover added to it. “I have always been greatly inspired by popular culture, so it means a lot to contribute to this aspect of the visual cultural realm through the realization of a Vogue cover.”- Tschabalala Self

Kunstmuseum Bonn | Bonn, Germany 19 October 2023 – 18 February 2024
Kunstmuseum Bonn | Bonn, Germany 19 October 2023 – 18 February 2024


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