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Vogue Gets an Art Makeover for its 125th Anniversary

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 11 August 2017
The cover of Vogue features a rosy-cheeked, porcelain-skinned Jennifer Lawrence, whose demure portrait is a work of art by John Currin. For the powerhouse publication’s 125th anniversary, Currin has created the first-ever painted cover for a landmark September issue.

It’s the September issue—an anniversary celebration, and a collector’s edition—so needless to say, Vogue has pulled out all the stops.

Elegantly posed in front of a textured champagne background, donning a sheer, tan frock and a fur hat by Miu Miu, Jennifer Lawrence (or, Currin’s painted depiction of the award-winning actress) stares back at viewers with pale blue eyes in the artist’s Rococo-like vision.

While Currin is known for his often humorous portraits of disjointed classical figures (in a kind of mannerism-meets-Norman Rockwell aesthetic), his portrayal of Jennifer Lawrence is poised, yet uncharacteristically modest.

“To be in a situation of producing a cover for this famous magazine, I’m a little scared,” the artist told The New York Times. “I do worry about decorum.”

Currin also noted that while he doesn’t typically concern himself with achieving an exact likeness of his subjects, his Vogue cover had to look, undoubtedly, like the actress whose face we’ve become so familiar with.

“I was interested mostly in seeing my work in a completely different way,” Currin continued.

The 2017 September issue is the first to feature a painting on the cover, though in the past, Vogue has collaborated with notable artists such as surrealists Salvador Dalí and Giorgio de Chirico, as well as famed Pop artist Andy Warhol.