A world-renowned musical and civil rights icon, Nina Simone, also known as the “High Priestess of Soul,” would have been 80 years old today.
And while last year was filled with the controversy of Cynthia Mort‘s unauthorized biopic on her life, set to debut in 2013, we thought it’d be nice to seek creatives who got her legacy and likeness just right.
This special Birthday Creative Feature includes illustrations, paintings, murals, t-shirt designs, and more from all over the world, some of which are available for purchase. Enjoy below.
“Aretha may be the queen of soul, but even she must bow to the immortal Nina Simone.”
This piece was made for an exhibition held at the Floating World Gallery in Portland curated by Sloane Leong. Based loosely around yakuza/crime noir films by directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, Takeshi Miike, Kinji Fukasaku, Seijun Suzuki, Yukio Mishima, Sogo Ishii and Shiny Tsukamoto, the show featured several artists take on the Yakuza genre.
My piece is a GratNin take on the Yakuza theme. It’s a movie poster for a film that never existed. An episode of Zatoichi subtitled Rising Sun Blues. It stars Nina Simone as a fated gambler drawn back to the infamous Rising Sun Gambling house.