The Ethiopian-American artist known as Awol Erizku has opened a new solo exhibition at the Gagosian. Entitled “Memories of a Lost Sphinx,” the exhibition features an array of unique, bold, and impressive new artwork. The artist’s work draws on history, creating a counter-narrative to the predominantly Western discourse on African culture. The new exhibition is set against a black painted interior, hosting a series of six lightbox photographs and an accompanying sculpture that show the fabled sphinx as a complex, cross-cultural symbol.
The artist spoke about his inspiration, stating: “My first encounter with the Great Sphinx of Giza led me to produce my own interpretation of the mystique and essence of the sphinx as a concept. The result is my interpolation of the space between my memory and imagination.” The images feature lions and falcons among the cosmos, a tarantula that is on a man’s face, the back of Kevin Durant’s head, and a hyperrealistic portrait of a snake. Instead of creating a singular narrative, the artist uses the images to explore identity issues, symbolizing the sphinx as a symbol that embodies riddles, wisdom, divinity, and the transition between life and death.
The artist illuminates the space with Nefertiti – Miles Davis (Gold), which is a glowing disco ball named after the musician’s 1968 album of the same name. “Memories of a Lost Sphinx” is undoubtedly worth your time and attention. The exhibition was organized by Antwaun Sargent and is on display at Gagosian New York until April 16, 2022.
Check out a few select images from the showcase and take a closer look if you are in the area. In the meantime, keep it locked with The Culture Curators for more art exhibitions, art drops, and more coming soon.
Photos via Awol Erizku/Gagosian