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Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video

The renowned painter’s work left an impression on her new video.

October 03, 2016

Solange's video for "Don't Touch My Hair," co-directed by the artist herself and her husband Alan Ferguson, is a series of stunning, immaculately styled and choreographed tableaux featuring uniformly dressed black people. Solange cited the work of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, a British-Ghanian painter who was shortlisted for the 2013 Turner Prize, as an influence on her new album A Seat At The Table. As Twitter user @joshjenks and W Magazine have pointed out, the video for "Don't Touch My Hair" resembles Yiadom-Boakye's work.

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Yiadom-Boakye's portraiture has been shown across the United States and Europe. Her rough, sketch-like brushes are one of the signature elements of her style — a deliberate choice, she has said, to "make people intelligible through paint." The video for "Don't Touch My Hair" aims for a more traditional majesty, with cinematography that's part Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon and part Fashion Week. Take a look at some comparisons below.

Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video Saint/Columbia / YouTube
Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video Complication, 2013, oil on canvas, 200 x 250 cms   Courtesy of the artist, Corvi Mora, London and Jack Shaman Gallery, New York
Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video Saint/Columbia / YouTube
Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video The Hours Behind You, 2011, oil on canvas, 98 3/8 x 118 1/8 inches   Courtesy of the artist, Corvi Mora, London and Jack Shaman Gallery, New York
Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video Saint/Columbia / YouTube
Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video Courtesy of the artist, Corvi Mora, London and Jack Shaman Gallery, New York
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Meet Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Painter Who Inspired Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” Video