Awol Erizku, a photographer whose work has appeared in major publications and museums, has joined the roster of Sean Kelly, which will represent him alongside Los Angeles’s Night Gallery and London’s Ben Brown Fine Arts.
Erizku creates photographs and installations that consider the representation of Black sitters throughout history. Many know him for photographing a pregnant Beyoncé, although his pictures have also included a portrait of the poet Amanda Gorman and more conceptual works. He has also made constructions of found materials, like basketball hoops, plaster Pharaoh busts, American flags, and masks.
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Born in Ethiopia and raised in the South Bronx, Erizku has been the subject of increased attention as of late. In March, Antwaun Sargent organized an Erizku solo show at Gagosian in New York with works that featured sphinx imagery.
In the past decade, he landed solo shows at the Flag Art Foundation and Public Art Fund. His work is set to be featured in the upcoming group exhibition “Barkley Hendricks: Portraits of Frick” at New York’s Frick Collection in 2023.
Gallery founder Sean Kelly said in a statement that he had first acquired a work by the artist years ago, while Erizku was still a student at the Cooper Union in New York. “We have been close to him and followed his career attentively since that time,” Kelly added.
Erizku was recently included in Sargent’s 2019 book The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion, which focuses on an emergent group of Black photographers whose work merges the aesthetics of fashion photography and conceptual art. A show related to that book is now traveling the United States.