Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Drake Stars on W Magazine’s Art Issue & is Seen Re-Imagined by 5 Artists

W Magazine’s Art Mag launched this month, with coverstar and rapper Drake re-imagined by five artists and seen in their signature style.

Painted, pictured and collaged in various ways, the famed Canadian had his image re-worked by KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly), Jim Joe, Mark Flood, Henry Taylor and Katherine Bernhardt, with brilliant results that are worthy of their own exhibition.


For the cover, Drake is seen photographed by Caitlin Cronenberg and then highly-saturated by artist KAWS, who also creates a portrait of the star, multiplying his entity and placing seven 3d action figure Drakes onto a crate marked ‘Fragile,’ alongside gigantic models of the artist’s “Companion” sculptures.


From the mind of  Canadian artist Jim Jones (known as Jim Joe) Drake is seen photographed and then placed under the artist’s signature scrawl, which became well-knwn when it appeared on the cover of the rapper’s surprise mix tape earlier this year.

Of the portrait for W Art‘s mag, the text was “inspired by a lady who yawned on the subway” and according to the artist, “is equal parts engagement and irreverence.”

Houston-based artist Mark Flood played with the idea of celebrity, explaining of his portrait of the rapper, which sees Drake lensed through fabric;

“I said to Drake, ‘I want to see how much we can put in shadow or distort and still have it be you.’

What’s intriguing to me about our obsession with celebrity is how ancient it is. Whether it’s Zeus staring at you from a Greek temple 2,000 years ago or Drake gazing at you from the cover of a magazine, there’s this continuity in our hunger for images of people who stare back at us.”


Portrait artist Henry Taylor spoke with Drake on FaceTime and took screenshots during the conversation before finding inspiration from the rapper’s lyrics – the “Wrist bling, got a condo up in Biscayne,” from 2011 tune “The Motto” leading him to incorporate Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard in the painting, saying;

“I played the songs and tried to make something that he might look at and say, ‘Yeah, you know, that motherfucker is listening to my shit. He’s paying attention.’ ”

Lastly, mural artist Katherine Bernhardt used a graffitied wall as the backdrop to Drake, which references her first public work “Fruit Salad,”  which includes colour-blocked watermelons, toucans and cigarettes. The result sees Drake at home in Toronto, photographed alongside Bernhardt’s signature fruits in the doorway of a West Indian grocery store.


Team SPICE love each of the resulting portraits and how they capture the star so differently – but tell us what you think to W Art’s Magazine cover and the portraits of Drake in the comments box below or online @SPICETVAFRICA.

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