black muslim artist behind beyoncé’s pregnancy photos opening an anti-trump art show in london

April 12, 2017

In February, 28-year-old Awol Erizku was revealed to be the photographer behind Beyoncé’s viral pregnancy announcement. The photo quickly became the most popular Instagram post of all time, with nearly 11 million likes and counting.

Having had his first New York exhibition before receiving his MFA from Yale, the artist is now heading to Europe for his first exhibition on the continent: an anti-Trump show titled “Make America Great Again” at Ben Brown Fine Arts in London, opening April 20. Though he’s always embraced Blackness in his work–according to The New York Times he makes mixtapes including the likes of Jim James, Future and Kodak Black to play during gallery shows to “make my peers feel welcome”–Erizku’s London show is the artist’s most political statement to date.

Erizku has painted the gallery walls black, and he uses basketball hoops to represent the Black male body. There are references to Los Angeles gangs or slang, and repeating images of a black panther lifted from the logo of the Black Panther Party doing things like climbing across American flags or appearing on top of the words “Make America Great Again” on a red baseball cap, a new take on 45’s campaign paraphernalia.

“I don’t think this show is anti-American, but it is definitely anti-Trump,” the artist told The New York Times. “All the people he’s hating on do make America great.”

Click here for more info on the exhibition, and check out some of the artwork below!:

*Hari Ziyad is a New York based storyteller and writer for AFROPUNK. They are also the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitR, deputy editor of Black Youth Project, and assistant editor of Vinyl Poetry & Prose. You can follow them on Twitter @hariziyad.