This is the magazine’s “Art Issue” and this cover is just…very cool. Like, sincerely, honestly cool. It doesn’t feel over-thought or too fussy. I’m so glad they went simple — I cannot imagine Patti Smith all gussied up the way they would do if she were on the cover of Vogue, and this cover feels very spare and elegant and true.

The corresponding profile, penned by Chloé Cooper Jones, is also just…great. It is thoughtful and dense and just flat-out interesting in a way that traditional celebrity profiles often are not — in part, I think, because a 75-year old woman gives far fewer fucks, and has lived much more life, than a 25-year old one, but also because Smith is a singular artist and person. It is absolutely worth your time.

Sometimes, Smith tells me, she wakes in the night feeling fresh grief over the loss of her friends, her husband, her mother. “I can’t bear that Fred isn’t going to come back. He’s been gone for, I don’t know, 27 years or something. Or that my mother isn’t going to sit down and have a coffee. And so maybe I’ll have a good cry. But now I’ve realized that these moments, which seem so devastating in the past, are almost friends. It’s like, ‘Ah, I’m feeling grief. …’ It’s just more proof that we’re alive and that we’re capable of feeling still a plethora of emotions.

”Smith will turn 76 at the end of December. She tells me she sees her life now like a book that keeps expanding: The longer it is, the more it contains. More life means more chances to make things.

The editorial shoot is also cool — she looks very much like herself, but it’s fun and interesting to see how Harper’s styled her to maintain that vibe while still being so high-end (plus, of course, Levis). There’s also a lot of “her own [XYZ].” Definitely take a sec to click through if you’ve got the time today.

[Cover photo: Pieter Hugo]