Earlier this week, Pusha T shared a stream of his upcoming album, My Name is My Name. The album’s two striking covers were created by DONDA, the mysterious, Kanye West-directed all-in creative agency that also did cover art for 2 Chainz’ sophomore LP along with lots of Kanye projects—the seven-screen Cruel Summer movie experience, the Yeezus cover and the “Blood on the Leaves” VMA performance. My Name Is My Name’s minimal cover art may be inspired by Pusha’s stripped-down vocal style, but it’s more likely a nod to a rich set of fashion and art history references. The stark black and white forms recall Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist grammar, while the alternate cover’s silhouetted portrait bears a close resemblance to civil war-era paper-cut portraits, as interpreted by contemporary artist Kara Walker. There are also echoes of iconic photographs, from Michael Haslbland’s famous image of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Bob Dylan’s back-lit hair, Andy Warhol’s self portrait, or Ciara’s Speechless album cover. Pusha’s oversized barcode, a call out towards an increasingly on-the-grid culture used for the album’s main cover, follows a famous 1978 Mad magazine cover and the barcode tattoos from William Gibson’s short story Johnny Mnemonic. Spanning all that and more, here’s a brief breakdown of possible influences on Pusha T’s works of art.
1. Michael Haslbland, Knock Out Punch, Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat Studio. 1985.
2. Kara Walker, Untitled. 1994-1995.
3. Seth Price, UNTITLED. 2008.
4. Mad magazine cover. April, 1978.
5. Bob Dylan, Greatest Hits LP. 1967.
6. Ciara, Speechless LP. 2010.
7. Richard Serra, Stop B S. 2004.
8. Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis. 1963.
9. Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait. 1986.
10. Coolio, Fantastic Voyage: The Greatest Hits. 2001.
11. Allen McCollum, Collection of Thirty Drawings. 1988/1992.
12. Lamberto Bava, Demons. 1985.
13. William Gibson, “Johnny Mnemonic.” 1981.
14. Kazimir Malevich, Black Square. 1915.