Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Cover Is a Stunning Ode to Horse Girls

·2 min read
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Instagram
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Instagram

Everyone say, “Thank you, Beyoncé.” On Thursday, the singer blessed our Instagram feeds with the stunning cover art for her hotly anticipated upcoming album, Renaissance.

In the breathtaking image, Queen Bey sits grandly atop a holographic horse pulsing with electric currents. She is nude save for a pair of stilettos and a spiky, spine-like, well, thing (is it jewelry? A sort of corset? I don’t know, but it looks incredible!) strategically covering anything that might be deemed NSFW.

It is, in a word, a masterpiece. Her hair, a center-parted cascade of golden, butt-length waves, is that of a pre-Raphaelite muse. Her perfectly posed body looks as though it was carved from marble by one of the genius sculptors of the era to which her album title refers. She is giving Lady Godiva, with a futuristic twist. She said, I studied my art history; I fuck with Botticelli.

In a caption accompanying the photo, Beyoncé opened up about the experience of working on Renaissance. “Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” she wrote. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”

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Naturally, the internet is abuzz with reactions from reverent fans. One Twitter user replied to Beyoncé’s tweet of the image with a meme of Nene Leakes captioned, “It appears to be just a little bit iconic to me.” Another wrote in all caps, “Let the renaissance commence,” punctuated with bee and crown emojis.

Renaissance is scheduled to arrive on July 29 and will be Beyoncé’s seventh album. The first single from the album, “Break My Soul,” dropped last week, offering a preview of the house- and disco-influenced dance record to come. It has been six years since she released her last solo album, Lemonade, though she has worked on amazing projects in recent years. Those include the 2020 visual album Black is King and her Oscar-nominated song “Be Alive” from 2021’s King Richard.

I’ll leave you with this observation: Between the Renaissance album art and her instantly iconic British Vogue cover from earlier this month, Beyoncé is single-handedly rehabilitating the public image of horse girls, and I think that’s beautiful.

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