Rihanna unveils album cover that 'changes the history of album art'

The artwork for her eighth album, Anti, explores the idea that ‘people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest’, singer says

Rihanna’s much-delayed new album – her first since 2012’s Unapologetic – now has a title, Anti.

The title was revealed by Rihanna herself at the Mama gallery in downtown Los Angeles – invitations to the event billed it as “a private viewing of artwork by Roy Nachum her her 8th studio album”. Rihanna said it was the favourite album cover of her career.

One exhibit at the gallery defined the title: “A person opposed to a particular policy, activity or idea.” It also offered the claim that “in her collaboration with Roy Nachum, Rihanna has changed the history of album art. By continuing to follow her own instincts, her work strives to make an impact by doing the very antithesis of what the public expects.”

The cover features a picture of Rihanna as a child with a crown covering her eyes. Laid over the image is a poem by Chloe Mitchell written in Braille, whose work has previously been used by Kanye West, Anti’s executive producer.

“He see things beyond the surface which is why I decided to collaborate with him,” Rihanna said of Nachum. “He really interpreted it in his own way, with exactly the message I wanted.”

She added: “The whole idea behind the Braille is that people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest.”

Nachum referred to Rihanna in return as “a true artist and visionary”. He has used Braille in the past, incorporating it into oil paintings in his “Blind” series.

Other album artwork on show also included Braille poetry written by Nachum, with fans at the event encouraged to add their own fingerprints to specific pictures.

A release date for the album – which has so far spawned three singles; FourFiveSeconds, American Oxygen and Bitch Better Have My Money – has yet to be announced.

No new songs were played at the exhibition.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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