Amber Rose takes an ambitious shot at the iconic Grace Jones image shot by acclaimed photographer Jean-Paul Goude in 1978. The original photograph of Jones, interestingly titled, “Nigger Arabesque” is apart Gourde’s Jungle Fever series.
Dr. Richard J. Powell, Professor of Art History at Duke University and author of the widely critical text, Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture offers a necessarily assessment of the Jungle Fever series. “The implicit “contract” between the portraitist and the portrayed in Jungle Fever unabashedly embraces Goude’s racial/sexual affliction and, just as important, each subject’s willed exhibitionism, resulting in portrayals that are profane yet revelatory, beguiling, and often quite imaginative.”
While Rose’s version of the image seemingly releases racial implications, it certainly retains if not heightens a sexual temper. Centered as the leading image of Kanye West’s new website, one wonders what the appropriation and remixing of the Jones archive evokes. Is the couple a new pairing of artist and muse? More importantly, why is there always a nude Rose before West’s gaze?
Speak on it!