Awol Erizku Presents New Work At Ben Brown Fine Art London

Awol Erizku

Ben Brown Fine Arts is presenting ‘Cosmic Drill’, their third solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Awol Erizku. The exhibition follows his highly acclaimed shows with Ben Brown Fine Arts, 慢慢燃燒 Slow Burn (Hong Kong, 2018) and ‘Make America Great Again’ (London, 2017).

This exhibition unveils an alluring new body of work that merges the mediums of painting, photography and sculpture while harnessing myriad influences, including street markings, hip-hop music, basketball, dice games, and NASA telescopic data.

Awol Erizku, No Hesi, 2022
Awol Erizku, No Hesi, 2022

Cosmic Drill features large-scale mixed media paintings, a seminal marble sculpture, and a conceptual mix tape explicitly produced for the exhibition. The paintings are executed upon industrial aluminium surfaces directly emblazoned with photographic imagery that includes pictures of the cosmos captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and exposed parts of photographic film taken from the 35mm camera Erizku uses to document his daily studio activities. These paintings are influenced by the neighbourhood tags – graffiti artist territory-marking ‘signatures’ – seen across Los Angeles on public spaces and exteriors of business establishments. These are often ‘cleaned up’ with mismatched paint or removed with a buffing process, an aesthetic alluded to in the brightly spray-painted sections of these new works. Also included in the exhibition is the totemic sculpture Head Crack (Stack or Starve), comprising three large-scale, stacked dice rendered from Black Absolute granite, Verde Malachite marble and a Red Jasper from Madagascar, making up the colours of the pan-African flag and signifying the ‘game of luck’ that is life.

Erizku is distinguished for his unique visual language and iconography that address race, identity, politics and cultural history while drawing from references from urban culture to the art historical canon. Cosmic Drill presents a conceptually dynamic and visually powerful new body of work, a sublime perpetuation and culmination of the artist’s achievements in photography, painting, sculpture and mixed media.

Awol Erizku b.1988 lives and works between Los Angeles and New York. Erizku received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Cooper Union, NY, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT. Erizku’s work has been exhibited at prominent institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and FLAG Art Foundation, New York. New Yorker, New York, GQ, Vanity Fair.

Top Photo Awol Erizku courtesy Ben Brown Fine Art

AWOL ERIZKU ‘COSMIC DRILL’ Ben Brown Fine Art London 27 January – 6 April 2023


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