Rihanna's seeing red! The "Bitch Better Have My Money" singer unveiled the artwork for her new album, Anti, during an intimate gathering at Los Angeles' MAMA gallery on Wednesday, Oct. 7 — revealing seven original oil paintings by contemporary artist Roy Nachum.
Inviting her guests, including Nick Jonas and Straight Outta Compton's O'Shea Jackson Jr., to experience the added depth to the artistic works, Rihanna gave her visitors red eye masks and encouraged them to feel some oversized Braille poetry sculpted onto the images.
As guests mingled, the main cover image remained behind a velvet curtain until the Barbadian beauty was ready to draw back the drapes and reveal the masterpiece.
The picture in question depicts a young Rihanna, splashed with red paint, with a gold crown covering her eyes, and a black balloon strung tightly to her wrist. The picture is inscribed with poetry by Chloe Mitchell that spreads between the front and the back cover of the album.
Rihanna explained she was drawn to artist Nachum (a favorite of celebs like Jay Z and Justin Timberlake) due to his ability to see things beyond the surface. "I fell in love with him because I felt like there was another spirit, there was another layer to the art. After we met, we talked about what I wanted visually, what would make me the happiest girl in the world," she said.
Poet Mitchell came up with her poem, "If They Let Us," after spending some time with the 27-year-old singer. "We just talked and we laughed and we drank, and this is the poem we came up with," the singer said.
And Rihanna told reporters at the event that the new artwork was her favorite yet. "The whole idea behind the Braille is that people who have sight are sometimes the people who are blindest,” she added.
Read Mitchell’s poem, "If They Let Us," below.
I sometimes fear that I am misunderstood.
It is simply because what I want to say,
what I need to say, won’t be heard.
Heard in a way I so rightfully deserve.
What I choose to say is of so much substance
That people just won’t understand the depth of my message.
So my voice is not my weakness,
It is the opposite of what others are afraid of.
My voice is my suit and armor,
My shield, and all that I am.
I will comfortably breath in it, until I find the moment to be silent.
I live loudly in my mind, so many hours of the day.
The world is pin drop sound compared to the boom
That thumps and bumps against the walls of my cranium.
I live it and love it and despise it and I am entrapped in it.
So being misunderstood, I am not offended by the gesture, but honored.
If they let us…
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