Black excellence

Nigerian artist who provided body art for Beyoncé in ‘Sorry’ responds to Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ with art

SPEAKING THROUGH ART: Laolu

SPEAKING THROUGH ART: Laolu

A NIGERIAN artist who provided body art for Beyoncé’s Sorry video has responded to President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban through art.

Brooklyn-based Laolu uploaded an image of the Statue of Liberty draped in kente cloth with the caption, “Am I threat to your liberty? #Immigrant”.

It comes after the US president provoked a backlash after signing an executive order banning people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from travelling to the US.

“This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” Trump said.

A federal judge in New York later issued an emergency order temporarily barring the US from deporting people from nations subject to the President’s travel ban.

BEAUTIFUL: Laolu's piece shows the Statue of Liberty draped in kente cloth

BEAUTIFUL: Laolu’s piece shows the Statue of Liberty draped in kente cloth

Laolu brought his practice of sacred Yoruba to the world after adorning Beyoncé’s dancers in intricate white body paint for her track, Sorry.

The artist usually sits with a model, which he calls his “muse,” for hours in order to meticulously adorn her body with geometric, swirling patterns, which he calls Sacred Art of the Ori.

He notes that the origin of this practice derives from a spiritual Yoruba ritual.
“In my language, Yoruba ‘Ori’ literally means your essence, your soul, your destiny,” he said.

“When I work with a muse, the muse, their Ori, and I become one. It’s the deepest, most spiritual experience I’ve ever had with my art as an artist.”

WORDS: Dionne Grant

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