Award-winning entertainer Lizzo paid homage to an iconic Black painting during her recent Saturday Night Live ‘SNL’ performance.
Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, paid tribute to African American artist Annie Frances Lee as part of her latest performance of “Break Up Twice” (2022). That evening, she sang before an attentive audience while wearing a white gown that depicted Lee’s famous painting, “Blue Monday.”
According to the Black Art Depot, “Blue Monday” is a famous self-portrait that doesn’t show her face. The painting is “a popular and timeless open edition work of art by the late master artist Annie Lee that depicts an African American woman rising on a Monday morning tired but ready to keep on keepin’ on.” It was possibly a reflection of her own life, feeling the exhaustion of waking up to face the world at the start of every week.
The Chicago native’s “Blue Monday” was a staple backdrop in the hit African American television series in the ’90s, including, The Cosby Show, 227, and A Different World. Her overall artwork style was coined “Black Americana,” and her credibility derived from the ability to depict everyday Black American life.
Lee reportedly held her very first art exhibit at age 50, and her work sold out within minutes. She passed away at the age of 79 in 2014, but her legacy lives on, as perfectly portrayed by Lizzo.
“You get me, you really get me [Blue heart]. Thank you to my creative team for helping me pull this vision off w less than a week to prepare! @tanishascott @q_thervandross @brettalannelson @iwantalexx @theshelbyswain @erierinailz @kevinbeisler [Blue heart]. Y’all make miracles happen!” she shared in an IG post about her SNL performance and homage.