This week’s The New Yorker cover features a surprise star: Sadie Dupuis, poet and songwriter of Sad13 and Speedy Ortiz.
Nicole Rifkin’s piece titled “Sun-Dappled” appears on the cover of the August 22 issue and showcases Dupuis reading. So, people want to know, how did Dupuis end up on the cover of a magazine that doesn’t normally have indie rock artists?
“I was asked to develop this cover originally to be for The New Yorker’s fiction issue,” Rifkin said in an email response to Pitchfork. “I thought that Sadie, who is a friend who also always has about 10 books on deck to read a week, would be the best person to ask to be in the drawing.”
Dupuis and Rifkin have been friends for years and before that they loved each other’s art.
“She’s very involved in an extended Exploding in Sound community and has illustrated some of my favorite show posters and album covers, especially for my friends like Mister Goblin, Bethlehem Steel and Pile,” Dupuis said in an email.
“She illustrated an issue of Wax Nine’s journal and did the cover of the Adam Schlesinger tribute compilation we helped co-release, too – very luck us!”
Meanwhile, Rifkin also opened up about how much she admires Dupuis’ work.
“Speedy Ortiz was and still is a really big deal to me,” Rifkin stated. “I remember seeing them open for the Breeders at Webster Hall, and now I get to text her stuff randomly like ‘hey, how’s Lavender’ or ‘hey, can I draw you into a New Yorker cover?'”
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Sadie Dupuis Gives Details
Dupuis revealed that it was a text message in May in which Rifkin had asked her to model for a potential New Yorker cover.
“The idea made me exceedingly anxious, but then I remembered it’s Nicole, who is a masterful artist, whose past drawings of me have made me feel cooler than maybe any other visual representation,” she stated.
Dupuis further shared details of the process.
“I sent some timer-shot selfies in a pose from her reference drawing, and then a couple days ago, I found out this cover was a go-ahead and was psyched to finally see and discover all the easter eggs (which Nicole is very good at) – including my dog, Lavender, on the back cover of a fictional Wax Nine issue,” she added.
“Plus Dan Ozzi and Thursday by proxy and Imogen Binnie, and a little shout out to Shea Stadium and Death By Audio!”
Rifkin stressed that featuring Dupuis on The New Yorker cover is like honoring a friend whose records have been of great value to her in years.
“I feel like her songwriting has given me so much over the years that I wanted to give something back,” she stated.
Art editor of The New Yorker Françoise Mouly also released a statement to Pitchfork regarding the cover.
“I was so glad when Nicole Rifkin sent her references for the cover (everything at TNY, including covers, gets fact-checked by our fabled team), and I found out that Nicole had posed a musician friend, Sadie Dupuis, for the image of a woman relaxing and reading in the stiflingly hot city,” she stated.
“It’s a wonderful homage. So many artists are musicians themselves (Nicole Rifkin, for one) or inspired by music. It may be that both forms of expression, art and music, are non-verbal and draw from the intuitive and emotional parts of our brain. Drawing is manual labor, and for many, it’s best done with music.”
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