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Breonna Taylor - September 2020 Cover Illustration

Award: Yellow Pencil

Yellow Pencil / Illustration / Publications / 2021

The September 2020 cover of Vanity Fair featured an illustration of Breonna Taylor by renowned American artist Amy Sherald. The portrait was commissioned to commemorate the life and memory of Taylor, who was murdered in her sleep by Louisville police. This is only the second commissioned portrait Sherald has painted (after her portrait of Michelle Obama for the National Portrait Gallery). The design on the cover was intended to be as minimal as possible, so that Breonna’s image would be the absolute focal point.

  • Breonna Taylor - September 2020 Cover Illustration
  • Breonna Taylor - September 2020 Cover Illustration

What did the judges have to say?

"It stopped me in my tracks from the first time I saw it$and still does. It's a posthumous portrait of Breonna Taylor - whose tragically unanswered murder by the police is known to most viewers. But it reframes her and her story in a quietly beautiful, empowering way. It requires you stop to look, pay respects, learn about the symbolism and thoughtfulness that went into every single aspect of the painting. There is an elegance and subtlety that communicates volumes about something devastatingly unfair and horrific."

Kat Irannejad, Co-Founder & Executive Illustration Agent, Snyder New York

"For the first impact: a strong, beautiful, almost religious image of Breonna Taylor. Then, the story behind the work: the investigation, the artist working close to Breonna Taylor's mother, her favorite colour on a dress, a custom-made dress from a Black female designer and so many more details of love and respect make this illustration so powerful and go much further than any other picture that could have been chosen for this cover. Illustration at its best."

Susana Albuquerque, Creative Director, Uzina

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