Meet Nigerian Artist Responsible For Body Art in Beyonce’s Lemonade

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Nigerians will not stop making the country proud with great achievements like this. Following the release of Beyonce Fires 6th Studio Album, LemonadeUS-based Nigerian Artist, Laolu Senbanjo, broke the media with news about his amazing body painting artworks used by Beyonce in her latest album.

Laolu, whose art originates from an ancient practice of a spiritual Yoruba ritual, calls his work “Sacred Art of the Ori.”

“In My Language, Yoruba ‘Ori’ Literally Means Your Essence, Your Soul, Your Destiny,” Laolu Explains In His Artist Statement. “When I Work With A Muse, The Muse, Their Ori, And I Become One. It’s The Deepest, Most Spiritual Experience I’ve Ever Had With My Art As An Artist.”

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On Saturday 23rd April, Beyoncé premiered her hour-long Album on HBO. In the monochrome section entitled Apathy, Beyoncé’s background dancers are seen on all black attires and white body paint while riding in a metal bus and moving to the album’s fourth track, ‘Sorry.’

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Beyoncé is also seen with a similar but sparingly painted pattern of the body art. White dots were lined along the curves of her eyebrows and others below her eyes and dragged down to her cheeks, forming tear lines. This would not be the first time, Beyonce is featuring a Nigerian art in her work, as her Flawless track in her self-titled album had a spoken word piece from Novelist Chimamanda Adichie.

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Just five years ago, 34-year old Yoruba visual artist and musician left his life as a human rights attorney in Lagos to become a full-time artist. The decision has led him to his Afromysterics artwork where every item is a canvas – shoes, clothes, guitar, and even the human body as exhibited in his tribal markings on Beyonce’s video vixens.

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Laolu Senbanjo and painted model

Laolu Senbanjo, who was born and bred in Nigeria before moving to Brooklyn to find a living, recently signed a deal with American sportswear company, Nike, and customizes their footwear with his unique markings.

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His contributions to Beyonce’s visual album stands out and adds deeply stirring spiritual undertones to the video. The grand appearance of Senbanjo’s Sacred Art of the Ori marks a shift in Beyoncé’s emotions from “Anger” to “Apathy” as dancers, adorned in his signature Yoruba body paint, sway about in formation alongside Queen B herself.

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