FIF: Awol Erizku
He's the photographer you all know, even if you think you don't...
Hey guys, so IT’S FRIDAY and you know what that means… it’s time for MTV Breaks’ “F**k It!” Friday – our weekly feature all about celebrating the stars who have gone above and beyond every expectation by just saying, “f**k it!” (probably).
Because it’s all very well to have big ambitions, but having the conviction to chase those dreams and committing to being 100% yourself is the difference between goodness and GREATness.
So who’s up this week in the FIF roll call of honour… it’s AWOL ERIZKU!
Awol was born in Ethiopia, but raised in The Bronx in New York. He’s MADE his name as a reputable photographer recently and if you’re thinking you haven’t seen his work, you probs have… unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months.
Remember that pic Beyoncé used to announce that she was preggers with child #2 and 3 on Insta? You know the one…
Yeahhh, that was all Awol. This beaut shoot where Bey posed semi-naked surrounded by flowers, mirroring famous old paintings of Venus (the goddess of love and fertility), became ICONIC overnight.
So Awol may be a BIG name rn, but how did it all begin?
Well, when Awol was just an intern for David LaChapelle he decided to show the famous photographer his photographs. And when he received a lot of praise from David, he realised there could be a big career waiting for him in the photography world. “You could be working for someone else and just kind of slave away and do everything that they’re asking and not get any of your work done,” Awol told Blow Hip Hop TV in a 2012 interview. He said he resolved to “give it a fair shot and at least fail before I commit myself to doing this… I just never looked back.”
In other words… he said “f**k it!” (probably) and risked throwing himself into a career that he knew could potentially go pear-shaped. But it didn’t! And without that commitment and f**k it-ness, Awol would never have made it to where he is today.
One of the reasons that Awol has attracted attention as an artist is that he likes to recreate famous historical pieces and replace the white muses with black ones. His black version of Leonardo DiVinci’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring (Girl with a Bamboo Earring) is a popular example. Awol’s art and photography focuses on coloured people because he felt like there weren’t enough of them represented in art galleries when he was growing up.
We LOVE how Awol launched his career by just saying “f**k it!” and believing in himself, but we also think that the way he has completely stunned the art world with his black retelling of art history is bold and brilliant, and another “f**k it!” string to add to his bow – he went out to make an important statement, and he nailed it.
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!
Now why not take a look at what our Sex Squad has been getting up to...
MTV Breaks: Some Of Our Fave Photography Entries From EMA 2016
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