Nicki Minaj Goes Way Old School For ‘W’ Magazine
The powdered wigs and ball gowns are a far cry from Minaj's often skintight, Day-Glo attire. Photographer and artist Francesco Vezzoli was inspired by high-profile courtesans in his shoot. He told 'W,' "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."
The original portraits are of historical courtesans: the Marquise de Montespan, Comtesse du Barry, Madame de Pompadour, and Madame Rimsky-Korsakov.
Minaj pulls off the classic looks well, and probably felt right at home with all of the wigs she got to try on, but she's almost unrecognizable without her signature hot pink lipstick. What she does have in common with the women she modeled after? Power.
"I wanted to play with the public image of a female hip-hop star," Vezzoli told 'W.' "During my entire career, I have always been fascinated by powerful women in history. I have spent a lot of time researching the ways they were represented in art and how their images were used to mold the public imagination—and to convey aesthetic and philosophical ideas about beauty and sexual desire. My main interest has been to link the historical artistic approach to female representation to contemporary icons of the media era."
While some may argue that Nicki Minaj doesn't exude the same nobility and class of her 18th century counterparts, she has to be doing something right--Drake's mom loves her!