ArtX - Laolu: Sacred art of the Ori
ArtX and Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) welcome the acclaimed Nigerian-born and Brooklyn-based visual artist, Láolú, for a ten week Freedom residency in New York City. ArtX, a new artists’ club and cultural platform located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking district, and the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), a project of PEN America, are collaborating in this new initiative to raise awareness about the field of artistic freedom of expression around the world. The residency is also supported by the Open Mind Project, an Aspen based non-profit which sheds light on the power and influence of cultural and religious narratives on human psychology, behaviour and environment.
Láolú is a visual artist, singer, songwriter, musician, and activist. After practicing law in Nigeria’s Human Rights Commission for five years, he moved to New York City in 2012 to devote his time to be a full-time artist. Láolú rose to international prominence when his Sacred Art of the Ori was featured in Beyoncé’s 2016 Grammy award winning “Lemonade” album.
The Sacred Art of the Ori
Láolú’s unique technique, which he coined the Sacred Art of the Orí is based on the Yoruba spiritual practice of awakening the God in you (your Orí). He uses distinct African patterns and symbols to create complex, story-rich compositions that draw heavily on his Yoruba heritage, and which are influenced by stories told to him by his paternal Grandmother.