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Francesco Vezzoli Gets Artsy with Nicki Minaj for W Magazine

Last year, editor Stefano Tonchi made waves with the annual art issue of W Magazine by having reality-TV maven Kim Kardashianpose nude for the cover. This year, the glossy has once again featured a pop culture phenom -- this time opting for the eccentric rapper Nicki Minaj. Instead of one of her usual elaborately silly ensembles, the crew at W has clothed her in couture and enlisted gay artist Francesco Vezzoli to portray her in the style of classic portraiture. Vezzoli has a fascination with taking modern celebrities -- especially women -- and framing them in a more traditional, high-brow way. For this shoot with the singer, the artist said: "She makes very explicit and challenging use of her beauty and her body, so I thought of comparing her to some of the most famous courtesans in history."

For more on Minaj, check out our feature on the rapper here.

Image courtesy of W Magazine/Fracesco Vezzoli

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