The Mona Lisa? Maybe. Rita Ora? Absolutely not. Rihanna, in an acid green Vetements power suit and her namesake Dior sunglasses, posing in front of a giant headless statue of Rihanna, her smiling face superimposed onto her torso? Truly, madly, deeply iconic.
Rihanna made her pilgrimage to the Berlin Biennale today to visit Colombian artist Juan Sebastián Peláez’s Ewaipanoma, an installation commissioned of the Bogotá-based artist from a series wherein he takes “a series of pop icons” and reinterprets them in a manner inspired by the drawings of sixteenth-century explorers like Sir Walter Raleigh and Christopher Columbus, who both described having encountered Ewaipanoma or Belmmyae on their expeditions to the New World, humanoids with “headless natives with faces on their upper, naked bodies”.
Peláez has previously depicted other Caribbean or Latin American figures in a similar manner, including James Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. An artist’s statement indicates that it’s his intention to hint at “the sometimes monstrous body modifications typical of celebrity culture [while] referencing longstanding projections of otherness”.
Prior to visiting Ewaipanoma, Rihanna spent the afternoon drinking Peroni and champagne, and later visited Curry Mitte, a currywurst restaurant in the city’s Mitte district. Your fave could never.