Meet Roy Nachum, the Artist Behind Rihanna's Dope 'Anti' Album Cover

What you need to know about artist Roy Nachum.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Rihanna finally unveiled details on her long-awaited eighth studio album at the MAMA Gallery in L.A. last night, mainly the title—Anti—and the artwork. It would've been nice if we got a tracklist and release date as well, but the album art is so dope that it makes up for the lack of information.

Created by Jersualem-born artist Roy Nachum, the artwork features a young girl with a crown superimposed over her face and poetry composed in braille covering the canvas; last night at the unveiling event it was explained that it's inspired by Rih's first day of daycare. Additionally there are six more Nachum pieces within the album interior and back cover, each with accompanying braille poetry divvied up between Nachum and poet Chloe Mitchell, whose work you may remember being recited by Kanye West at the end of "Blame Game." 

The braille feature, which marks as the very first time an album cover has featured physical braille, should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to Rihanna's album rollout all year. The single covers for "FourFiveSeconds," "Bitch Better Have My Money," and "American Oxygen" were all designed by Nachum as well, featuring the titles in braille. This is Rihanna's most artsy album endeavor yet—and, as she explained last night, her favorite—but after scrolling through Nachum's Instagram it would seem the Roc overall has taken a liking to his work. Jay Z has a painting of his titled "The Crown" (fittingly) hanging in his NYC office, and he appears to have done some work with West at Art Basel.

The Anti cover is an amalgam of Nachum's previous personal work. Variations of the blood red and white color palette as well as children with a crown over their eyes surrounded by braille, all appear in his art collection titled "Blind" spanning 2011-2012 as well as 2008's collection "Pixelated." Nachum's biography explains that his artwork, which almost exclusively explores themes of vision or lack thereof, features the recurring child and crown as a metaphor for "man's blindness caused by displaced values and desire." The braille is intended to "evoke sensations in the blind participant" similar to those who experience it through sight. Regardless of how you experience the work though, he goes on to describe it as a vehicle to allow viewers to explore their own existential apprehensions.

Maybe that's why the accompanying Anti poetry by Mitchell and Nachum deals with themes of being misunderstood, loneliness and brazen independence. Nachum's contributions in particular, invoke his own personal themes of apprehension and obscurity—followed by clarity—of vision and of self. Judging from the involved artwork and the special attention to detail, two things are almost near certainties: Rihanna is about to get very deep and introspective on this album, and Roy Nachum might be hip-hop's next new favorite artist, if he'll have them.

Peep the translated braille poetry and details on each Anti artwork below, courtesy of PopJustice.

Poster Braille Translation from Album Packaging
2015, Oil On Convas
100 x 87 inches / 254 x 221 cm
Poet: Chloe Mitchell

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