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Published by Sugar & Cream, Tuesday 28 November 2023

Images courtesy of Lladró

Culture, Tradition, Spirituality, Africa

The unmistakable strokes of the renowned Nigerian artist based in New York stain the skin of two handcrafted pieces in limited series for the Spanish brand.

Lladró presents its new collection, The Dreamer by Láolú, which marks the brand’s first an African artist, Láolú Senbanjo. Through this creative partnership, this prominent Nigerian artist residing in New York joins Lladró to express the spirituality of the Yoruba heritage through porcelain art. These creations, which blend influences from the Yoruba culture and traditions of Nigeria with a contemporary 1art treatment, use Lladró porcelain as a canvas to bring to life two works that intricately reflect the codes of his creative world.

The Dreamer by Láolú: Culture, tradition, spirituality, Africa
Visual artist, musician, human rights lawyer, and activist, Láolú Senbanjo, also known as “Laolu NYC”  as is the first artist invited to collaborate in The Dreamer collection. The Dreamer by Láolú plays with the artist’s signature geometric patterns in black and gold on white porcelain. The translation of Senbanjo’s drawing to porcelain requires the outstanding work of two major areas: on the one hand, the ornamentation team hand engraves each of the strokes and, on the other, the expert hands of the decoration area, who meticulously paint them with black and gold luster. Láolu’s personal graphic language is thus integrated into the sculptural form, giving rise to a singular and committed work.

Materialization of a spiritual connection with Art
Senbanjo’s creative process, which the artist calls “The Sacred Art of the Ori”, is a spiritually guided exercise that seeks to elevate consciousness as much as it seeks to create a work of art. The black color and various shapes create complex, story – driven designs that draw heavily on the author’s Yoruba roots.

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Inspired by Yoruba body painting rituals, he applies West African patterns with charcoal, ink, and paint on everything from buildings and cars to paper, wood, and the skin of his models. And now, also on porcelain:

“When I met Lladró I was impressed by the different cultures I saw represented in their universe. It is the first time I’ve worked with porcelain. It has a shine and luster when exposed to light that doesn’t appear in any other type of ceramic, and it’s beautiful; something so striking and genuine. The elegance it gives off is something that cries out for art, for visions of different expressions,”  explains Láolú.

The Dreamer: a new creative Project where global artists give life to their imagination
Under the name The Dreamer, a new Lladró creative project is born, in which international artists like Láolú Senbanjo will express their imagination, their way of seeing and understanding the world in designs produced in limited series of between 300 and 1500 units. A new space where two sculptures, a head and a bust, become both the containers and the content, the metaphor of the universe that lives in each of us. Evoking dreams, thoughts, aspirations, concerns… the universe of the artist expressed through artistic sculpture in porcelain.

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