The artwork for Kanye West's forthcoming My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album has already made headlines for its controversial imagery. West stood by the original George Condo-painted portrait of a nude, winged woman mounting a grimacing Yeezy but later added that he would roll out five different covers to accompany the album.
On Thursday (November 4), fans got a chance to see the range of artwork found in the packaging for the artist's fifth LP when he held a Ustream broadcast promoting the November 22 release.
About six minutes into the half-hour live stream, West whipped out the crimson album packaging while fielding questions from DJs and journalists. The cover of the packaging features a pixilated version of the album's original brouhaha-sparking artwork that obscures the detail of the image, transforming the painting into a multicolored gradient of squares with a gilded border.
The album casing appears to be made of a paper foldout similar to his Graduation record, which boasted involved visuals from celebrated Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami. As the "Runaway" rapper opens the covering, the inside flaps seem to be emblazoned with golden inscriptions that could possibly be the track list, including one fold that appears to read "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" in ornate lettering. Tucked away in one of the pockets are the alternative album covers, which include the Condo-crafted images from his "Power" and "Runaway" singles. The scenes appear to be interchangeable as well, as the "Lost in the World" MC swaps out one image for a depiction of a menacing, deconstructed close-up of an African-American man, presumably West, as the center of the album's cover.
West broke down the creation of his first album image to MTV News at the Los Angeles premiere of his "Runaway" short and gushed about Condo's interpretation of West's original concept.
"I told [Condo] I wanted a phoenix, and that's what he came up with. And what I love about it is, both me and George express ourselves with our truest vision, not based on what society or culture feels is right, but what's truly in our heart," West said. "And I just know if George was in my class back when I was in kindergarten, and he came up with something like that, I would've been envious, like, 'Man, how did you come up with that character with no arms and the wings, man? That's cool!' ... And it's simply like that. I just really love the colors. I thought the colors were just amazing, and the imagery was amazing. I thought it was a cool, awesome cover."
Fans will get to fiddle with the album's intricate packaging when Twisted Fantasy lands on shelves at the end of the month.
Are you excited to check out all of Kanye West's covers? Let us know in the comments!