Friday, April 29, 2016

Meet Laolu Senbanjo, the Yoruba body artist behind Beyoncé’s visual album 'Lemonade'

Nigerian born Brooklyn-based artist Laolu Senbanjo is getting some well-deserved attention.

Laolu's artwork in Beyoncé's "Lemonade" visual album has conjured up a storm that's been rumbling across popular media since the album dropped Saturday evening on HBO. Vogue called him their "new Instagram obsession," and ABC News held a special interview with the Brooklyn-based artist.

In a conversation with OkayAfrica, Senbanjo said he was invited by the pop star's management to decorate her dancers with his signature designs for "Sorry," a song off of the new album. "It was crazy because I couldn't say no," he said. "If Queen B wants you ... It was so unreal. I just left everything I was doing."

Senbanjo, who trained as a human rights lawyer in Nigeria, cites his Nigerian roots as a major source of his visual inspiration, though formally, his visual references share affinities with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He writes on his website: "All of my work is heavily influenced by my Yoruba heritage and often related to the environment I find myself in."

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