BOOOOM! If you were shaken awake by the sound of the internet exploding, then you'll already know that one very important photo was published on Instagram last night. When Beyoncé's twin photo was taken might not matter as much as when it was posted, but it's still quite a mystery. If you're wondering who's behind the gorgeous still, then one clue lies in its similarity to Beyoncé's February pregnancy photo, an image that, for The Atlantic, conjured up images of "the Virgin Mary — Our Lady of Guadalupe, Renaissance Madonnas" as well as reportedly making viewers think of "Dutch flower paintings, Frida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt’s Hope, II."
The photo was the work of 29-year-old New York and Los Angeles-based artist Awol Erizku, whose work, according to Vulture, remixes "art classics, such as turning Girl With the Pearl Earring into Girl With the Bamboo Earring." According to Essence, Erizku is behind this photo too, which, given the similarity between Beyoncé's twin photo and the Botticelli painting The Birth of Venus, isn't entirely surprising. But when did the shoot take place?
That's a little harder to pinpoint. Given the fact that Beyoncé states in the photo that the twins are just one month old, there's a limited time period in which the photo could have been taken (namely, any time between June 14 — or, according to Elite Daily, possibly even June 13 depending on where Beyoncé was when she posted the twin photo — and July 13).
While there's every possibility that the photoshoot was meticulously planned for months, according to an interview that Erizku gave Rolling Stone about how he photographed Beyoncé last time, it sounds like it might have been a far more casual occasion instead. The Yale School of Art graduate told the publication: "Whether it's Beyoncé or someone I met on the street, my approach to making portraits and making art is that it has to be organic." Add to this the fact that it's unlikely a mother would expose a pair of babies who are only a matter of days old to being placed in the sun and underneath any additional lights that a photoshoot requires for hours at a time, an educated guess would place the photoshoot some time in the last couple of weeks.
Ultimately, until either the Ethiopian-American artist or Queen Bey spills the details, it's hard to give an exact date when this could have happened — and it's made even more difficult by the fact that Erizku hasn't been regularly updating his Facebook or Twitter account over the past month. Clues are thin on the ground.
However, there are a few hints in the post. Firstly, Beyoncé's stomach is flat, which, if you assume the photo has not been photoshopped, is important. Given how big Beyoncé's stomach was prior to her pregnancy, this would imply the photo is much more recent than a month. According to a 2017 article about weight loss after having twins from health site Verywell, "Doctor recommendations vary, but most women gain about 35 to 45 pounds during a twin pregnancy... In most cases, about a third of the weight belongs to the babies, and Mom is left with the rest."
As such, the photo could even have been taken just a few days ago, since, even with a dietician, it would be difficult to lose this much weight in a week or two. Besides which, the photo's caption states that the babies are "1 month old today." It would be appropriate given the photo's text that the picture would be more recent in order to give as accurate as possible an impression of how the babies look "today."
Therefore, while there's no hard evidence on this one, it seems likely this photo was taken in the week prior to posting, between July 6 and July 13. But does it really matter? Bey hasn't just birthed twins, but a photo that's a gift to the world. Surely that's the only thing that counts here.