The cover art for Converge's 2001 masterpiece, Jane Doe, is one of the most iconic hardcore images of all time. Designed by frontman Jacob Bannon, it pictures a shadowy woman's body disintegrating in real-time, and for the 20-plus years since the record was released in September 2001, the lady remained anonymous just like the title, Jane Doe, implied.
However, in a recent Instagram post, a French model named Audrey Marnay has claimed that a picture of her from a May 2001 issue of Italian Marie Claire magazine is actually the inspiration for Jane Doe's artwork. In a subsequent post on Converge's Facebook page, Bannon has confirmed that she is correct.
The 40-year-old model posted a side-by-side of Converge's artwork and her picture from 20 years ago, which does bear a striking resemblance to the feminine face that's become a metalcore emblem over the last two decades. "Hi Converge, it's 'Jane Doe. Shall we talk!?," she wrote in the caption along with a thinking face emoji.
In her photo, which she notes was taken by Jan Welters, Marnay's facial expressions, the shape of her head and and even the angle of the photograph are undeniably reminiscent of the woman on Jane Doe. Back when Bannon told us the story behind the cover art in a 2013 interview, he didn't mention anything about a real-life muse for the woman, but now he's revealed that Marnay was "definitely" one of the sources from his mixed-media piece.
"Just to be clear: This is definitely one of the sources for the original stencil/mixed media piece for the 'Jane Doe' album," Bannon wrote. "Most of my work always been collaged cut/paste based (and still is). Hundreds of images were xeroxed and repainted/inked in a loose style to create the release artwork. This process is similar to everyone from Shepard Fairey to Francis Bacon."
He continued, "Over time my work has evolved into something more much more refined, but the roots will always be in this style. I wonder if folks will still insist that it is actually from the cover of Slayer's 'Reign In Blood'? The original goal was to create ghost-like forms that embodied the concept of 'Jane Doe'. In recreation, identifiers are removed from physical forms, making all humans become relatable and stoic. We see what we want to see in them, and often times, it's a reflection back onto our own life experiences, etc."
In our 2013 interview with Bannon, he offered an additional explanation about how the art ties in with the album's lyrics and how he went about making it.
"The album's lyrical themes were born out of a dissolving relationship and the emotional fallout from that experience," Bannon said. "Visually, I just wanted to capture that disillusionment with relationships and channel the negatives I felt. I did this in hopes of creating some sort of positive out of all the negative I was experiencing."
"I sketched the basic cover and started building it in layers, using acrylic, ink, and spray paint," he later added. "Because of the nature of the work and the need for flexibility in the imagery, I decided to build it in physical layers and scan certain elements for future use."