The rollout for Rihanna’s eighth studio album has been a slow burner, but tonight the “American Oxygen” singer dropped two major firebombs about R8 at Los Angeles’ MAMMA Gallery. In collaboration with contemporary artist Roy Nachum, Rihanna unveiled seven original oil paintings throughout the space that will be used as the official artwork for her forthcoming album, reportedly called Anti.
(This eye-roll inducing title recalls those pseudo-rebellious middle schoolers that draw Jack Skellington in their notebooks and flaunt their uninformed anti-establishment agenda. Rihanna’s proven she’s cool, but there’s nothing cool about declaring yourself an ‘Anti).’
“In her collaboration with Roy Nachum, Rihanna has changed the history of album art,” read a description on the gallery wall. “By continuing to follow her own instincts, her work strives to make an impact by doing the very antithesis of what the public expects.”
Among the paintings was Rihanna’s official Anti cover art, which depicts a young girl wearing a gold crown with a black balloon strung tightly to her wrist, painted in multiple, intersecting views. The back cover is of the same girl, just shown from behind, each image inscribed with sculpted Braille poetry by Chloe Mitchell, whose work Kanye West recited in the intro of his 2010 track, “The Blame Game.”
Watch Rihanna dramatically unveil her album artwork at the highly anticipated opening, below.