For the latest installment of HYPEBEAST Diaries, we caught up with Nigerian-born, London-based artist Oluola Slawn to learn more about how his “risky” move to London in 2017 would lead him to becoming one of the hottest artists on the planet in 2022.
“Scammer”, skater, streetwear poster boy, viral sensation and celebrated artist all rolled up into one charged-up package, Slawn is a character needs no introduction. But in his Diaries episode, Slawn is clearly still trying to work out how he’s blown up so quickly.
“I’ve had this question… bothering me. Is there a punchline to all of this? But then I realised, the punchline is, there’s no punchline.”
Known for his larger-than-life canvases rocket fuelled with caricature pop figures, bold colours and striking shapes, his art reflects on human psychology, politics, race and the realities and issues challenging society, he has amassed a significant cult fan-base.
Slawn’s irrepressible energy has seen him continue to break new ground in the art world, showing his work as part of Central Cee’s festival performances – as exhibited in the video – as well as Skepta’s ‘Contemporary Curated’ auction held at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries, followed by his first (sold out) solo exhibition at Efie Gallery in October titled, ‘On A Darker Note.’
Slawn’s HYPEBEAST Diaries episode also shows Slawn offer up a first glimpse of his newly-designed 2023 Brit Awards Statue, much to his own disbelief. “I thought it was fake when the asked me to design this. Do you know the other people that have been asked to design this?”
Shot between a hectic summer schedule canvassing work through to becoming a father and kicking it at his home with his son four months later, Slawn’s Diaries provides an insight into the world of one of the most electrifying personalities in the culture right now.
Watch the latest installment of HYPEBEAST Diaries above.
In case you missed it, watch Nick Holiday discus his foray into styling and working with BROCKHAMPTON.