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Cardi B takes inspiration from raunchy ’80s photo series on new music video

Cardi B’s new music video, Up, features scenes that resemble Patrick Magaud’s sexy graveyard photos from Exhibition in Paris (1984).

On Saturday, WAP rapper Cardi B released her new single Up, with an intensely theatrical music video to accompany.

Without any context, the clip shows some incredible similarity to Exhibition in Paris, 1984: a photo series famous for its image of a woman straddled on a gravestone.

Cardi B/Exhibition in Paris, 1984 (2)

Exhibition in Paris was a controversial ’80s photography collection by Patrick Magaud, capturing humorously sexual images of women in Paris. Although it isn’t clear if the reference was intentional, the similarity is undeniable as the video begins with Cardi wearing black lingerie (similar to the 1984 photograph), strutting around a grave. Just like the image, a statue of a man is laid on top of the tombstone, with the plaque reading “death of 2020”. 

During an interview with Zane Lowe, Cardi B discusses her aim to steer away from the highly sexual themes of WAP and move towards music similar to her first mixtape “all about gangster violence”. “I wanted my next song to be different [the last song was very sexual],” she said.

Whilst it is unclear if Up achieves the goal (as the artist lays naked on a mirrored plate surrounded by champagne), the resemblance to Magaud’s 1984 piece is undeniable.

exhibition in paris, 1984
Photograph: Exhibition in Paris, 1984 by Patrick Magaud

Watch Cardi B’s new release here: