Nathan Fox Revisits Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl for ESPN
ESPN The Magazine enlisted Nathan Fox to portray a crucial Super Bowl moment for its Music Issue: the nine-sixteenths of a second that halftime-watchers happened upon Janet Jackson's breast, now a decade ago. The illustration, which ran alongside an article titled "In the Beginning, There Was a Nipple," turned out "incredibly well," remarked ESPN art director Keir Novesky. "[Nathan] has a way of pushing boundaries while still remaining true to the inherent subject matter of the piece. Working with someone that has the ability to find that middle ground is always a top priority of mine, and Nathan definitely has it."
Fox wanted to draw a "jarring, sensual, and voyeuristic shot," as he described it. "I thought it would be interesting to concentrate on the reaction from her mouth, and her recoiling in front of the sparks in the background." He also played with anatomy: "I wanted to make things a bit off, so that it appears correct, but there's something slightly upsetting about it that's hard to place – that's why I selected that specific pose and grip with her fingers melding into her flesh. The viewer's eye can't rest; it has to bounce around."
He created the piece digitally and paid special attention to the different layers. "I did an ink-wash texture for her outfit and a few other elements, so I scanned those in and merged it all," Fox noted.