The Rising Talent of Olaolu Slawn

Nigerian Artist Slawn

Who is Slawn?

Olaolu "Slawn" Slawn emerges as a dynamic force in the art world, blending his Nigerian and Yoruban heritage with his UK upbringing to create captivating works that resonate with audiences worldwide. At just 26 years old, Slawn's journey as an artist has already garnered attention for its depth, creativity, and cultural significance and he counts Skepta, Jeremy Corbyn, Mia Khalifa, and Central Cee as some of his admirers.

“I’m an artist… ish” - Slawn

Raised in the United Kingdom, Slawn's multicultural background influences both his life and his art. Drawing inspiration from his Nigerian and Yoruban roots, as well as his experiences in the UK, Slawn's work reflects a unique fusion of tradition and modernity, exploring themes of identity, heritage, and societal dynamics.

Slawn's Art and Inspirations

Slawn's art style is characterised by its vibrant colours, intricate patterns, and bold compositions. He employs a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and mixed media, to create visually striking pieces that command attention and evoke emotion. His work often incorporates elements of traditional Yoruba art, reimagined through a contemporary lens, resulting in a fresh and dynamic artistic expression.


British Artist Slawn

Influenced by a diverse range of artists, Slawn draws inspiration from both Nigerian and Western art traditions. From the rich symbolism of Yoruba sculpture to the vibrant energy of contemporary street art, Slawn's artistic influences are as eclectic as they are profound. He seeks to challenge conventions, push boundaries, and spark meaningful conversations through his art, inviting viewers to explore their own cultural identities and societal contexts.


Slawn's Artwork in Auction

Slawn made a notable debut at Sotheby’s in 2022 during Skepta’s Contemporary Curated sale, where his piece "Bobo n Jarrad Go To Church" sold for four times its estimated value. His artwork "Alara, Ajero and Orangun" is set to headline Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary African Art Sale on March 21, 2024. This piece reflects on Nigeria's ongoing struggle to transcend its colonial legacy, drawing inspiration from the Yoruba myth of triplets who founded significant kingdoms. Adorned with a dappled cotton wax print textile, imbued with colonial symbolism, Slawn overlays the fabric with exaggerated, distorted facial features, showcasing his signature style and thematic depth.


"Alara, Ajero and Orangun" by Artist Slawn

While Slawn's career is still in its early stages, his talent has already been recognised on the international stage. Notable auction results attest to the growing demand for his work, as collectors eagerly seek out pieces that capture the essence of his artistic vision. As Slawn continues to evolve and innovate, he is poised to make a lasting impact on the global art scene, offering a fresh perspective on the intersection of culture, identity, and creativity.

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