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Who Is The Feminist Icon Behind Kanye West’s New Album Cover Art?

With Kanye set to release his 10th studio album, ‘Donda’, in the coming days, fans are already prying into the symbolism and deeper meanings behind the album’s cover art.

Renan Facciolo/ Kanye West - SWU Music & Arts

With Kanye set to release his 10th studio album, ‘Donda’, in the coming days, fans are already prying into the symbolism and deeper meanings behind the album’s cover art.

Although Kanye has been teasing the release of ‘Donda’ for almost a year now, it appears that the musician has made some changes to the album’s cover art since he first revealed it back in July 2020.

The albums cover art now seems to be based on the artwork of Louise Bourgeois.

Bourgeois was a French-American sculptor and painter who is best known for her large-scale sculpture exhibitions, such as her piece ‘Spider’ which has held the record for one of the most expensive sculptures by a woman three separate times and selling for 32 million in 2019.

The piece itself consists of a 15ft bronze spider sculpture hovering above a steel cage containing a director’s chair- and is thought to symbolize her mother’s care, a theme which is later expanded upon in her 1999 sculpture ‘Maman’, which is French for Mom.

Much of Bourgeois’ art explores themes of gender roles and sexuality, but also of death and trauma particularly in regard to her childhood, this is no surprise considering it was the death of Bourgeois’ mother in 1932 that inspired her to begin studying art which she considers to be a therapeutic way for her to work through her emotions towards the past.

This is most likely why Kanye has decided to use Bourgeois’ art for his album cover. Given that the musician has named his upcoming album, ‘Donda’, in honor of his late mother, it is likely that Kanye felt a connection to the trauma explored by Bourgeois through her own medium and wished to use her art as a way of placing his own mother at the heart of this ambitious new project.

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