“When you come into my world, I want you to be like ‘black is amazing!’” proclaimed 28-year-old conceptual artist Awol Erizku following the screening of his short film, ‘Serendipity’, last week at NeueHouse Hollywood. The South Bronx-born, Yale-educated artist has made it his mission to create work centered upon subjects of color. His reinterpretation on age-old classics—such as Vermeer’s famous “Girl with a Pearl Earring”— has had the art world talking. Covering several mediums, including photography, sculpture, and video installation, Erizku has even tapped into Soundcloud, Tumblr, and other social media channels to generate content in and around his studio practice. Here, Erizku shared some photographic insight into the rest of his world: what makes him smile, his idolized self, and the current state of the presidential race.
NeueJournal: What does happiness look like to you?
Awol Erizku: Making a quick mix in between paintings or shooting a still life.
NJ: What is your most prized possession?
AE: My puppy Prince, who’s named after Prince, she’s a girl.
NJ: What does your most idealized self look like?
AE: Nino Brown.
NJ: What makes you smile?
AE: My best friend Sarah Lineberger.
NJ: What makes you cry?
AE: Fox News.
NJ: What would be your last meal?
AE: A double double, animal style at In & Out.
NJ: How does the current presidential campaign make you feel?
Featured Portrait Photography: Chris Swainston for NeueJournal