on the cover

On the Cover: House of Spears

New York’s latest cover story by features writer Kerry Howley is an in-depth profile of Britney Spears’s father, Jamie Spears, as well as a sweeping history of the Spears family. A year after Britney’s release from her high-profile conservatorship, the untold story examines the generational trauma that shaped Jamie’s life in his hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana, and how he became a father who controlled every aspect of his adult daughter’s world for more than a decade.

“To me, this has been a ghost story from the beginning. Here is a place that will not let go of its favored child. The history of Kentwood has this epic quality, this compounding tragedy, all of which makes comprehensible Britney’s devastating isolation in Los Angeles,” said Howley.

The cover image is a painting commissioned by New York from illustrator Tim O’Brien, who used paparazzi photos from the early days of the conservatorship for his inspiration.

“So much of the available imagery of Britney Spears and her father together are paparazzi photos — the visual language of tabloid news — which ultimately fails to capture the literary quality of this sweeping profile,” said design director Thomas Alberty. “O’Brien’s style has a photorealistic likeness that makes the viewer do a double take while giving us an artful distance from the subjects.”

On the Cover: House of Spears