Rihanna may be keeping fans eagerly awaiting the arrival of her eighth studio album, but it appears Rihanna is almost ready to drop the new project, titled Anti, after unveiling the album artwork during an exclusive event in L.A. this past Wednesday.
Despite the ongoing pressure from fans to drop Anti, Rihanna has been adamant about her decision to create the “perfect” record in honor of her eighth studio album release.
In true Rihanna fashion, the “B**** Better Have My Money” songstress opted to unveil the cover art for Anti during an exclusive event at L.A.’s MAMA Gallery earlier this week, further exciting eager fans who were hoping for a surprise album release within hours of Rihanna debuting Anti‘s album art.
While some fans gushed over Rihanna’s decision to opt for edgier album art rather than simply featuring a photo of herself for the cover, others expressed confusion over the symbolic meaning behind the black, red, and gold painting that Rihanna chose to serve as Anti‘s official cover art.
The painting, which depicts Rihanna as a toddler with a gold crown pulled down over her eyes while holding a black balloon, was created by Israeli artist Roy Nachum, who was also responsible for Rihanna’s other artwork for “FourFiveSeconds” and “B**** Better Have My Money.”
Speaking to the Fader about Rihanna’s cover art for Anti and working alongside Rihanna during the creation of the project, Nachum reveals that he’s very pleased with the feedback that both he and Rihanna have received from fans.
Nachum further explains that he worked on the artwork for Rihanna’s album for nearly a year, noting that Rihanna asked to work with him after seeing pieces of his artwork hanging in Beyoncé and Jay Z’s home.
Also included in the album packaging for Anti, Nachum explains that he recreated a portion of his Fire series with Rihanna by first sculpting some of Rihanna’s favorite poetry in Braille before burning the surrounding frame to create charcoal that would later be used by Rihanna during a blind interaction with the artwork.
Nachum explains that he blindfolded Rihanna and asked her to touch the artwork using her charcoaled fingers in order to create three separate works of art in which fans can see Rihanna’s finger tracings over the Braille sculpture.
When asked how he and Rihanna approached the idea of the cover, Nachum happily admits that he and Rihanna connected very quickly and were understanding of one another in regards to their vision for the project.
“When I started explaining about my work, it was funny because it was really kind of the way that she thinks. Being humble and being appreciative, I think this is one of the main connections we have.”
For those wondering if the little girl featured on Anti‘s cover art is actually Rihanna, Nachum explains that Rihanna sent him several photos of herself when she was a young girl to help serve as inspiration for the piece, but that the end result is more of “a collage of a few pictures” rather than one specific photo of Rihanna.
In addition, Nachum reveals that the black balloon featured on Anti‘s album art is a metaphor for escaping reality, since balloons are “lighter than air.”
Roy further reveals that, based on what he has heard from Rihanna’s new music, Rihanna captures the idea of wanting to escape from reality in the new album.
Speaking on the music from Anti, Nachum admits that Rihanna is a “true visionary” and that Rihanna has created some “amazing” music for her eager fans.
While no release date has been confirmed just yet, Rihanna did promise fans that new information regarding the release date for Anti will be available really soon.
What do you think of Rihanna’s album artwork for Anti?
[Featured Image Credit: Getty Images / Christopher Polk]