#Lemonade: Nigerian Artist Laolu Senbanjo’s Sacred Art Of The Ori in Beyonce ‘Sorry’ Visuals

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Everything is his canvas, even Beyonce’s body.

Laolu Senbanjo was born and raised in Ilorin, Nigeria to Yoruba Parents and is based in Brooklyn, NY.  He’s a Visual Artist, Musician, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist.  His motto is:  “Everything is my Canvas” and takes it to heart.  He puts his mark on everything from canvas, to shoes, to walls and buildings, to clothing and even the body with his Sacred Art of the Ori. There’s no separating Laolu from his Yoruba heritage, it is ever present in all his work.  A strong advocate of holding onto your culture and spreading its glory he finds a way to marry his modern detail and ornate style with his Yoruba heritage by being one of the leaders in Afrofuturism Art.  His preferred mediums are charcoal because it’s something as natural as life and death and he also likes to dabble in acrylics, inks and even wood.

The biggest entertainment story this past weekend was the worldwide release of Beyonce’s 6th studio album, #Lemonade. The visual album has been long anticipated by her fans around the world. And in keeping with her notoriously secret approach to her work, not one clue was given as to what direction this project would take, thereby increasing the anticipation level.

After seeing his prolific use of lines and yoruba traditional artistic expressions ‘Sacred Art of The Ori’, Laolu was tapped in December 2015 to work with arguably the biggest pop artist in the world. The information given to him was sparse, but he was told that Beyonce wanted to work with him. Days later, Laolu met up with Beyonce and her team in New Orleans and after being briefed on what they wanted to achieve, he got to work putting his signature painting on her dancers.

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Laolu Senbanjo, one of the master of Afrofuturism
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Laolu’s Nike Air Max covered in his signature visuals

Laolu has had a manic 2016 thus far. He had a very successful collaboration with sports wear maker, Nike, which saw him as one of the Masters of Air at the recently concluded AirMax CON. He featured in luxury fitness brand, Equinox’s “Committed” social media campaign. But it seems none of these compare to having the opportunity to share his Yoruba influenced work with the world while we all sway to the beautiful vocals of Queen Bey.

Laolu often says “everything is my canvas” and it seems like many other collaborators such as Nike and Equinox, Beyonce has become one of his canvas.

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Laolu Senbanjo
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Beyonce wearing Laolu’s yoruba art in her visual for ‘Sorry’ from the Lemonade album
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Ladies on the bus covered in Laolu’s Sacred Art of The Ori in the visuals for ‘Sorry’ from Beyonce’s Lemonade album
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Another clip of ladies on the bus covered in Laolu’s Sacred Art of The Ori in the visuals for ‘Sorry’ from Beyonce’s Lemonade album reciting a monologue inspired by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s poem.

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For more of Laolu‘s work visit his Instagram account: @laolunyc

Tonia Soares

Tonia Soares

If you look hard enough you’ll get my bio but here is a teaser “I never SLEEP, so I DREAM with my EYES open to serve YOU with the best 360nobs.com experience.” I am all about what you SEE.

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