Awol Erizku became almost instantly a household name earlier this year when he was revealed as the photographer behind Beyonce's Instagram pregnancy announcement, in which she is featured in front of a massive wreath so large it looks to be a throne. However, he also earned his MFA in art from Yale four years ago, and is currently embarking on his most ambitious and most political project yet, a London show titled "Make America Great Again." Unabashedly anti-Trump, the exhibit features numerous basketball hoops (representing the young black male body), images of "12" (slang for the police, and usually referred to in the phrase "Fuck 12," a millennial version of FTP), frequent use of the Black Panther logo, and a red "Make America Great Again" baseball cap with a black panther above the lettering.
In January, I gave my contemporary trend presentation on art being made in reaction to the rise of far-right politicians and powers in Western nations in North America and Europe. My presentation was still a full two weeks from the Trump's inauguration however, and the resistance was only beginning. After the largest assembly of people in the history of humanity (the collective participants in the womens' marches the day after election day), the movement continued, and Erizku's new show is an awesome piece of it so far. Taking control of the very rhetoric that put Trump in power and turning it into a symbol of black power is an awesome example of not giving in to this bullshit that has overtaken the world. Keep at it man. By the way, this dude DJs at his own openings and plays sets of Future, Kodak Black and Gucci Mane. Possibly my new favorite artist.