Rihanna covers February 2021’s issue of Essence magazine in a collaboration with visionary multimedia artist Lorna Simpson. The partnership resulted in a series of original photographic collages, with one on the cover and a 12-page portfolio, titled “Of Earth & Sky,” inside the magazine. “Lorna is a legend,” Rihanna told Essence. “Honestly, I just didn’t think I could get her, but I like reaching for the stars and I like challenging myself.” Internationally known for her photo collages that recontextualize images of Black women to comment on gender, identity, race, and representation, 60-year-old Simpson continues to explore those ideas in this project with Rihanna and her 22-year-old daughter, writer and actor Zora Simpson Casebere, who penned the accompanying essay, “Anthems of Possibility.” “[Collaborating] with Rihanna and Essence magazine is quite incredible,” Simpson said to the mag while on set. “As an artist, I’m able to deliver these unusual images of someone who is so well-known and so recognizable… It’s an amazing opportunity.” 2021 has been nothing but history-making, and in this case at least, that’s a good thing.