New Yorker's Powerful Tribute Cover to Nelson Mandela

As you all know by now, the world lost a great one yesterday. To commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela, next week's cover of The New Yorker will show a beautifully powerful oil painting of a younger version of the leader by artist Kadir Nelson. "I’ve recently made a children’s book about Nelson Mandela, but for a New Yorker cover, I settled on a younger image of him during the time that he was on trial with over a hundred of his comrades,” he told the magazine.

“From looking at the photos of the time, I could see that the energy around him was very strong and that his peers were very much with and behind him,” Nelson added. “He was clearly a leader. I wanted to make a simple and bold statement about Mandela and his life as a freedom fighter. The raised fist and the simple, stark palette reminded me of posters and anti-apartheid imagery of the nineteen-eighties. This painting is a tribute to the struggle for freedom from all forms of discrimination, and Nelson’s very prominent role as a leader in the anti-apartheid movement.”

Nelson continued: “Being an artist is kind of like being an actor. So as I painted Nelson’s portrait, I felt empowered and proud like the man himself. He has long been a personal hero of mine. I saw him speak shortly after he was released from prison, in 1990. It was both an honor and a privilege to paint his portrait and tell his story.”

The cover is entitled, “Madiba,” which was Mandela's tribal name.

via [The New Yorker]

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Tags: art, cover, oil, painting, the new yorker, tribute

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