Frank Ocean’s “Lens” Cover Art Reminiscent of Kerry James Marshall’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self’


What you see is never what you get when it comes to Frankie O. Not only is it all apart of his charm but it’s what I love most about him as an artist.

After dropping two versions of “Lens”  over the weekend, a twitter user noticed a similarity in the accompanying cover art, and The Fader mentioned the find. Apparently, the cover is pretty indicative of a Kerry James Marshall painting titled A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self, which Marshall later revealed was inspired by Ralph Ellison’s novel “The Invisible Man.”

Marshall, who is most notable for his paintings depicting Black life in America, most recently made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. Deciding to exclusively paint Black figures as a young artist, the Birmingham Alabama native’s career now spans over 35 years, which is currently on display at Museum of Contemporary Art until July 3, 2017 in Los Angeles.

“For too long, the contributions of black people in American society have been ignored, marginalized and denied. Kerry James Marshall confirms and confronts those depictions and omissions with artistic flair, portraying everyday events in black lives,” Grant Hill shared when presenting his Time 100 tribute. “He forces people to assess the American experience through the black experience. In so doing, he has established himself not only among the giants of the black art milieu, but as one of the most influential American artists anywhere.”

Marshall also had a set of work recently showcased at the Met Breuer in New York. Revisit Frank Ocean’s “Lens” here and find out more about KJM here.

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