Nicki Minaj Is an 18th Century Courtesan on W Magazine
Nicki Minaj has dominated the rap game with record-breaking hits and penetrated the fashion world, even courting the favors of Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour herself, but is the ‘Super Bass‘ superstar hitching a plan to edge herself into the art world?
On the latest cover W magazine, the fashionista MC dons some very, very old school stylings in the haute couture dresses by Versace and Dior — fit to be worn by the fanciest, naughtiest companions for hire of them all. That’s right. She’s dressed as historically relevant, upper class prostitutes, so to speak.
“I wanted to turn the lovely Nicki Minaj into a powdered 18th-century courtesan,” says renowned, Milan based artist and satirist Francesco Vezzoli who worked on the shoot.
Nicki’s bodacious frame is nested into flowing, silky, extravagant gowns, headdresses and accessories. The diva rapper poises herself classically, as if she’s sitting for a painted portrait. “I wanted to play with the public image of a female hip-hop star,” Vezolli explains. “During my entire career, I have always been fascinated by powerful women in history.”
“In her performances, Minaj makes very explicit and challenging use of her beauty and her body, so I thought of comparing her to some of the most famous courtesans in history: the Marquise de Montespan, Comtesse du Barry, Madame de Pompadour, and Madame Rimsky-Korsakov,” he continues. “My idea was to reproduce four iconic portraits of some of the most fascinating females of the past in a series starring an American pop-culture role model. We tried to re-create those original portraits using similar furniture, props, and clothing, à la Visconti. Luckily enough, the result came out as surreal as it could be, just as I wished.”
Francesco Vezzoli is represented by the art gallery of Larry Gagosian, recently crowned the No. 4 most powerful person in the Art World according to ArtReview Magazine. Kudos to the hip-hop star for actually working with artists, instead of ripping off their work. Gaga better watch out!