Solange's 'A Seat at the Table' Album Cover Was Inspired by the Mona Lisa

Solange's interview cover -P 2017
Courtesy of Interview magazine

The singer revealed her vision (as well as her 'Real Housewives' obsession) to big sister Beyonce in a conversation for Interview mag.

Sisters Beyonce and Solange Knowles — first and second born of "Mama Tina" Lawson and Mathew Knowles, and the closest thing America has to royalty — blessed the public with an intimate look at their notoriously private relationship for the latest issue of Interview magazine, which features Solange on the cover. (What, your conversations with your siblings aren't cover story-worthy?)

Beyonce hopped on the phone with her lil sis to "interview" her for the piece, in which they discussed Solange's work ethic, her appreciation for The Real Housewives of Atlanta ("I love that show and think it's so brilliant because it's the woman that was represented in my childhood in Houston.... I watch it religiously, and I am in stitches the whole time") as well as the inspiration behind her album cover for A Seat at the Table.


A photo posted by Solange (@saintrecords) on

"I wanted to nod to the Mona Lisa and the stateliness, the sternness that that image has," she told Beyonce. "And I wanted to put these waves in my hair, and to really set the waves, you have to put these clips in. And when Neal, the hair stylist, put the clips in, I remember thinking, Woah, this is the transition, in the same way that I'm speaking about on ‘Cranes.'"

She added, "It was really important to capture that transition, to show the vulnerability and the imperfection of the transition — those clips signify just that, you know? Holding it down until you can get to the other side. I wanted to capture that." The now-iconic cover art, released in September, was re-created by countless fans on the Internet, including plenty who rocked clips in their hair for Halloween costumes. 

As for the grittier parts of their sister-sister relationship, Solange only had good things to say: "You did a kickass job [as a big sister]. You were the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever. In the 30 years that we've been together, I think we've only really, like, butted heads...we can count on one hand."