John Currin Painted Jennifer Lawrence for the Cover of Vogue’s September Issue

The issue celebrates the magazine's 125th anniversary.

John Currin's portrait of actress Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Vogue. Courtesy of John Currin/Vogue.

If A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence looks particularly ethereal on the cover of the September issue of Vogue, it’s because the image isn’t a photograph; it’s a painting by artist John Currin depicting the starlet in fashionable garb, including a striking red-and-white Miu Miu fur hat.

“To be in a situation of producing a cover for this famous magazine, I’m a little scared,” Currin told the New York Times. “I do worry about decorum.”

The portrait is one of a quartet of covers commissioned by the magazine for its 125th-anniversary issue, along with photographs of Lawrence by Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. (The September issue is traditionally the publication’s biggest and most important of the year, as evidenced by the 2009 documentary The September Issue.)

Andy Warhol's portrait of Caroline of Monaco on the cover of <em>Vogue Paris</em>. Courtesy of Andy Warhol/<em>Vogue Paris</em>.

Andy Warhol’s portrait of Caroline of Monaco on the cover of Vogue Paris. Courtesy of Andy Warhol/Vogue Paris.

The magazine has enlisted contemporary artists to create covers in the past, including four designs in as many decades from Salvador Dalí, and a December 1983 design for its French edition from Andy Warhol featuring an image of Caroline of Monaco.

This isn’t the first time that Currin has painted a Hollywood actress. A 1991 canvas titled Bea Arthur Naked is more typical of the artist’s work, which often features provocative nudity. It sold for just over $1.9 million at Christie’s New York in 2013.

John Currin, <em>Bea Arthur Naked</em> (1991). Courtesy of Christie's New York.

John Currin, Bea Arthur Naked (1991). Courtesy of Christie’s New York.

“When I made the painting, I was living in Hoboken and still making abstract paintings, and I was very frustrated. I was walking back from the PATH train and this vision of Bea Arthur just came to me,” said Currin of the work’s genesis to New York magazine a decade ago. He admitted to watching Golden Girls as a daily mid-afternoon break.

No word on whether Currin is a fan of Lawrence’s work in The Hunger Games.


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