Awol Erizku – Meet Young African Artist Behind Beyoncé’s Sensational Pregnancy Announcement Photos [OPEN]

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Awol Erizku – Meet Young African Artist Behind Beyoncé’s Sensational Pregnancy Announcement. Photos. Photo Credit: Vanity Fair

Except you are living under something akin to a rock, you probably would have heard by now that power singer Beyoncé is pregnant with twins.

Beyoncé took to Instagram to make the announcement with an iconic image of her cradling a protruding belly while posed in front of a lush floral arrangement. Within hours, the photo became the most-liked Instagram photo of all time.

Beyonce photo
Photo Credit: Beyonce/Instagram

If you are wondering who took the breathtaking photo, wonder no more as it is no other than 28-year-old Ethiopian-American photographer and conceptual artist, Awol Erizku who envisioned the singer as a Black (and beautiful) version of the Roman goddess Venus.

Beyonce photo 2
Photo Credit: Beyonce/Instagram

Beyonce11Beyonce111Erizkwu had previously worked with the Carters during a 2014 trip to Paris. He snapped photos of the pair at the Louvre museum, including an image that went viral of them posing in front of Leonardo da Vinci‘s iconic Mona Lisa. The photo shoot, which was shared on social media and later appeared in Vogue, has been credited with popularizing the art selfie trend.

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Awol Erizku, Beyoncé and Jay Z in front of the Mona Lisa. Photo: Beyoncé/Instagram.
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Erizku was born in Ethiopia and grew up in the South Bronx before getting an MFA at Yale University in Connecticut. According to the BBC, Erizku, who works in photography, sculpture, and video installation, treats Instagram as his gallery, opening his feed for public viewing at appointed hours. In the real world, he is represented by Night Gallery in Los Angeles.

Erizku
Awol Erizku.

Erizku is known for projects like The Only Way is Up, which received mad buzz back in 2014. For his latest collection, I Was Going to Call It Your Name But You Didn’t Let Me, Erizku paired his paintings with curated mixes of the songs that inspired them. It showcased last year at Art Basel.

One other artist who worked on the photos is none other than Nigeria’s Laolu Senbanjo who is responsible for the body paintings.

Beyonce’s Pregnancy, Pop Culture And Overzealous Africans . Photo Credit: Daily Mail
Beyonce’s Pregnancy, Pop Culture And Overzealous Africans . Photo Credit: Daily Mail

Beyoncé has a history of looking to African artists for inspiration. The works of African creatives have been unmistakably present in many of her recent projects. On last year’s Lemonade, she spotlighted Senbanjo‘s Sacred Art of the Ori and commissioned the writings of British-Somali poet Warsan Shire—who also wrote the Yoruba-inspired poem “I Have Three Hearts” that Beyoncé shared on her website to accompany the maternity photos.

We are not surprised with Beyoncé’s affinity for African creatives though given the wealth of innovation and talent coming from this group.

SEE ALSO: Beyonce’s Pregnancy, Pop Culture And Overzealous Africans (LOOK)


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