Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference- Robert Frost.
This poem directly expresses the life of Laolu Senbanjo who is popularly known as afromysterics is a Lawyer from the south-western part of Nigeria. He took up law as a profession after his father when he was denied an opportunity to study art and music in school which has always been his passion. He first worked at the Human rights commission in Nigeria but realised he would not happy or rather in his own words, ” I felt like a there was a missing piece I needed to fill”. Most of his family members saw his art and music style as fetish and against the Christian doctrine which his family practiced.
In 2007, Laolu Senbanjo created the brand Afromysterics, a term he uses to describe the ‘Mystery of African Pattern’. His form of art portrays the culture of Africans in realism After quitting his job as a lawyer and moving to New York in 2013 without a penny, Laolu found inspiration in using anything he could lay his hands on as his canvas especially the human body especially the nude human body.He says his moment of epiphany happened when he came across a picture of New York’s renowned jeweller and model Reign Apiim striking a pose in front of his art. in his words, “I could see an extension of her. It was like everything just came together in that work.”
Ever since his eureka moment, Laolu has registered his painting on shoes,clothes and any form of fashion statement piece that people can hold onto and regard as priceless. speaking of his idea of using the nude human body as his canvas, Laolu says:”I call it the Sacred Art of the Ori because it’s the essence of humanity itself. I try to paint on you what I see as ancestral skin. It’s like I’m giving you new skin. I look at you, and your body tells me what to do. So I feed off your energy, and that has to be right. I feel very connected with that person, and they take a part of me with them.”
On the 24th of March, the afromysterics master was asked to make statement pieces of the Nike Air Max shoes at the AIR MAX CON where he would be using his art to express his love for Air Max, New York City, and sports.
Laolu’s work was featured on the 24th to 26th of March.He highlighted his African roots as the world celebrated Nike’s popular Air Max brand. He made a special appearance the 25th of March.
Photo Credits: Instagram/laolunyc