Breaking News
More () »

Breonna Taylor's portrait on cover of Vanity Fair's September issue

Breonna Taylor was captured in a portrait by the same artist who painted Michelle Obama for the National Portrait Gallery.

WASHINGTON — Breonna Taylor, the Black woman who was shot multiple times in her own home by police and has become a symbol in protests against racism, will be on the cover of Vanity Fair's September issue.

Taylor, who was 26 years old when she was shot and killed, will be featured as a portrait painted by artist Amy Sherald.

In a behind-the-cover interview with Vanity Fair, Sherald described Taylor as an "American girl, she is a sister, a daughter, and a hard worker. Those are the kinds of people that I am drawn towards." She added that the portrait is a contribution to the "moment and to activism."

Sherald, who has been putting the stories of Black families and Black people on canvas, is well known for her painting of Michelle Obama for the National Portrait Gallery in 2018.

Sherald drew inspiration for the portrait of Taylor through her hairstyle, fashion choices and things she learned about her. She said she wanted the artwork "to stand as a piece of inspiration to keep fighting for justice for her."

There are also subtle intimate details in the portrait of Taylor. Sherald added the engagement ring that Taylor would never wear and a gold cross on a chain necklace.

"I made this portrait for her family,” Sherald told Vanity Fair. “I mean, of course I made it for Vanity Fair, but the whole time I was thinking about her family.” 

Taylor, an emergency medical tech studying to become a nurse, was shot multiple times March 13 when police officers burst into her Louisville apartment using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there and no drugs were found.

RELATED: Breonna Taylor lawyers: Police lied about search time and arrest of main suspect in narcotics investigation

RELATED: Lawsuit claims Breonna Taylor's death connected to Louisville gentrification efforts

Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, was originally charged with attempted murder after he fired a shot at one of the officers who came into the home. Walker has said he didn’t know who was entering the apartment and was firing a warning shot. The charge was later dropped.

The incident led to no-knock warrants being banned in Louisville.

The case, along with George Floyd in Minnesota and others, has sparked protests as part of a national reckoning over racism and police brutality.

Tensions have swelled in Taylor's hometown and beyond as activists, professional athletes and social media stars push for action while investigators plead for more patience.

The decision whether to bring state-level criminal charges against the Louisville officers involved in Taylor's death rests with Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

RELATED: FBI ballistics report in Breonna Taylor case received by Kentucky AG's office

This isn't the first time Taylor was on the cover of a magazine. She has already graced Oprah Winfrey's O September cover, marking the first time in 20 years that Winfrey herself is not on the cover of the monthly. Oprah Winfrey and "O Magazine" also put up 26 of billboards across Kentucky for every year Breonna Taylor was alive.

The billboards show the cover of O Magazine honoring Breonna Taylor's life and urge people to visit the website for the group Until Freedom.

The billboard says: "If you turn a blind eye to racism. you become an accomplice to it."

RELATED: 'She was just like me' | Breonna Taylor featured on cover of Oprah's magazine

RELATED: 26 Billboards put up across Louisville demanding officers who killed Breonna Taylor be arrested

Credit: AP
A billboard sponsored by O, The Oprah Magazine, is on display with with a photo of Breonna Taylor, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020 in Louisville, KY. Twenty-six billboards are going up across Louisville, demanding that the police officers involved in Taylor's death be arrested and charged. Taylor was shot multiple times March 13 when police officers burst into her Louisville apartment using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found. (AP Photo/Dylan T. Lovan)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.