Awol Erizku is America’s latest Art Sweetheart, It Boy, Cool Guy, etc, etc. Whatever flattering hashtag you feel inclined to label him with, one thing we can confirm is that this super talent is on a straight fire path to big things.
Awol is a 28 year old artist born in Ethiopia, raised in the South Bronx and now working between New York and Los Angeles. He’s a painter, sculptor, short film maker and, primarily, a photographer. Since his graduation from Yale’s MFA program in 2014, he’s worked with the likes of ASAP Rocky, Viola Davis and shown at the Museum of Modern Art.
Oh, and if Awol’s name isn’t ringing any major bells just yet, he’s the guy who shot Beyonce’s immaculately dreamy maternity photos that broke the Guinness World Record for most Instagram likes. Yeah.
Whatever discipline or materials Awol stretches across to make his work, his strong use of colour and bold graphic style is instantly recognisable. A universal blend of pop art, materialism and minimalism runs through his diverse body of work, tied together by a centralisation of blackness and black culture; his own culture. In a critically acclaimed series of photographic portraits, Awol re-created famous painted portraits by classical, renaissance artists like Caravaggio by replacing their white subjects with contemporary black ones.
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