Art Kids: Beyoncé’s swaggy little secret

Everyone knows Beyoncé is having twins; this is an unavoidable piece of knowledge. If I had stayed in bed all day with my hands over my ears and no contact to the outside world while she announced her big news, I would still know that she is expecting. What people are not aware of is the source of artistic genius behind the now iconic Bey photos.

Awol Erizku is who we should really be freaking out about because yes, Beyoncé is a queen with highbrow fertility powers, but this man is a cultural icon in his own right. Ethiopian born and Bronx-raised, he is a professionally trained photographer who often experiments in conceptual art. His works often explore various themes of black culture, one series of photographs done in 2013 of nude Ethiopian sex workers depicted as Venuses. Slay. His more recent series explore crossover between art and music, creating mixtapes with rappers and other musicians to correspond with every exhibition. He frequently collaborates with my future husband, A$AP Rocky, and incorporates the music of Rihanna, Future, Jay-Z,and Drake into his work.

Therefore, there was no other choice of artistic direction for Beyonce’s big news—no one else could have delivered such visually, conceptually and millennial pleasing photographs. The photo of her delicately posed on top of a car incorporates his piece “Ask the dust,” which in some cases can be considered one of his ready mades with flowers erupting for an old red automobile. However, these photos are just a step in his world takeover as I am convinced he embodies youth culture in an excitingly fresh and reflective way.

He is a super dope guy with stellar ideas who runs his Instagram account as a private gallery with public hours from nine to five, Monday through Friday…so you should stop by. By the way, I now expect everyone to be buzzin’ about Awol Erizku just as much as they are about Beyoncé because he is a big fu*king deal. You should frankly be taking blood oaths to him, spending thousands of dollars to see his shows, and ordering locks of his dreads on eBay.


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Celeste Caldwell is a current sophomore at the College studying Arts Management, Art History, and Studio Arts. Her other on campus involvements include interning at the Halsey, working at the Art History department, and being on staff at Miscellany. A few of her favorite things include photographing her friends, Jackson Pollock, fun pins, coffee, King Krule & Father John Misty, unicorns, Wes Anderson, and patterned socks.

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