This week, the internet was on fire with the news that Beyoncé is pregnant with twins. The announcement has obviously gone beyond viral, and Bey’s gorgeous pregnancy portrait has been liked more than 8.5 million times. But for a while, there was still some mystery involved: who took all of those amazing photos?
Well, now we know. According to ArtNews, the man behind the portrait is popular multimedia artist Awol Erizku — and he’s amazing. The 29-year-old artist works in both photography and conceptual art, but he also does a great deal of work involving music: perfect for Bey. For each one of his exhibitions, the artist creates a mixtape to go along with the work — and he’s done a lot of work with downtown DJs, like Kitty Cash. As he told the Fader about his last show, “Each and every one of these paintings are titled after a song that makes up the track list, checklist, and mixtape that we are hearing now.”
And Erizku even incorporated one of his installations from last year, “Ask the Dust,” into the Bey shoot.
Erizku’s work also has a great deal of social significance. His work focuses on subjects of color, and he purposefully works to bring more representation to museums and galleries. As he told Artsy, “There are not that many colored people in the galleries that I went to [growing up] or the museums that I went to. I was just like, when I become an artist I have to put my two cents in this world.” Erizku has repurposed portraits by Vermeer and Caravaggio, replacing white subjects with Black ones, i.e. “The Girl With the Pearl Earring” becomes “The Girl With the Bamboo Earring.” They’re very beautiful.
You can see a large portfolio of his work over at Artsy. He doesn’t have work up for sale right now, but considering his wide acclaim (New York Magazine even deemed him “the art world’s It Boy” ) and his recent work for Bey, we would imagine it’s… not cheap.
(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage )
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