New Yorker Cover Story: Kadir Nelson’s “Second Line”

New Yorker Cover Story: Kadir Nelson’s “Second Line”

I wanted to capture the memory of Hurricane Katrina and its aftereffects—the spirit of New Orleans, its resilience, its culture,” Kadir Nelson says of his cover for this week’s issue, which coincides with the tenth anniversary of Katrina. “And one of the first images that came to mind was a kid playing music, an image somber and hopeful at the same time.”


A selection of Nelson’s paintings is currently on view at RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor as part of a group exhibition called “Looking Forward Into the Past.” “All of the images I have are inspired by the Harlem Renaissance era,” he says. “They’re imagined scenes of archetypes from that period. I love the sense of New York and Harlem in the twenties, and a lot of the work pays homage to that very specific sense of style, of the integrity of the people who made up that era.”

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