Renowned artist and illustrator Kadir Nelson has once again graced the cover of the New Yorker magazine with his painting. The venerable magazine turns 90 years old this February, and to celebrate the milestone, decided to publish not just one cover for its special double issue (February 23 and March 2), but nine covers. For the covers, they turned to their artistic contributors, including Nelson and selected nine images “that reflect the talent and diversity of our contributors and the range of artistic media they use.” Nelson’s oil painting for the cover is a contemporary, urban interpretation of the New Yorker’s mascot, “Tilley”, the iconic, high-brow gentleman with the beaver hat and the monocle featured on the cover of the first issue of the magazine in 1925, and on every February edition until 1994.
Nelson’s art depicts Tilley as a super confident, urbane Black man, stylishly dressed in a chic ensemble that includes a wool winter coat and sweater and finished off with the accessory du jour: a smart phone and ear buds.
Kadir Nelson previously illustrated “Madiba”, the Dec. 16, 2013, New Yorker cover commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela about whom he had written and illustrated a children’s book..
Kadir Nelson is an award-winning American artist whose works have been exhibited in major national and international publications, institutions, art galleries, and museums. Renowned as a fine artist, he is also well known for illustrating children’s books and U.S. Postage Stamps (most recently Wilt Chamberlain and Ralph Ellison). Nelson has also enjoyed significant commissions from major corporations and the film industry. Many of Nelson’s paintings are in the collections of notable institutions and public collections, including the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as in the private collections of actors, professional athletes, and musicians.