this is the one book beyoncé says you should read

The Queen opens up about her love for Kara Walker, Ed Ruscha, and the ultimate feminist essay anthology.

by Hannah Ongley
10 March 2016, 4:49pm


With billions of loyal fans hanging off her every lyric, Instagram, or intoxicating, game-changing music video, interviews are no longer required by Beyoncé to keep the Queen relevant. This is a woman who graced the cover of Vogue without speaking a word.

However words aren't really the focus of Beyoncé's new cover story for Garage magazine. For the cover, Bey was transformed into a literal work of art via a mind-meeting with the legendary Urs Fisher, and inside she delves into the paintings, sculptures, and books that inspire her own creative compositions. There's no guarantee that devouring the oeuvre of her favorite artists and authors will help you become Beyoncé, but there's no harm in trying either.

"My mother is a huge art collector and she always encouraged me from a young age to invest in art," Beyoncé recalls of being raised by Miss Tina Knowles. "I travel a lot and I love going to art galleries and museums in different cities with my family and friends."

Kara Walker's Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On) (2000) via Guggenheim

She is particularly inspired by the work of Kara Walker, Tracey Emin, Aaron Young, Ed Ruscha, and Donald Judd. "I think defining art is a really personal thing," she says. "I try not to think about it too much. It makes me think of a Basquiat quote I read somewhere that said, 'I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life.'" And while the perennially empowering Destiny's Child lyric, "I don't think you ready for this jelly" was probably not inspired by Ruscha's 1967 oil painting work "Jelly," it's at least a fascinating link between the two brilliant pop icons. 

Ed Ruscha's Jelly (1967)


Beyoncé also shares the one book she wants other women to read. "I would love for my younger fans to read What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? by Marianne Schnall," she says. "It's a collection of interviews and essays by great women, including Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Melissa Etheridge. They will inspire you to become a better leader." Well if anyone would know... 


Text Hannah Ongley
Images via YouTube