Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made major headlines when they announced last week that they were stepping back from their duties as senior members of the royal family. Now their bold declaration has inspired one Los Angeles based artist, Obi Arisukwu to create a new piece that encapsulates what this all means “for the culture.”
The work is a mashup of a popular photo of Jay Z and Beyonce drawn as a mashup of the royal couple adorning Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. But there’s a story behind the artist’s inspiration.
In June of 2018, one of the most noteworthy moments from Jay Z and Beyonce’s Apes**t video was when the Carters obtained exclusive rights to film inside the Louvre in Paris and created that viral image of them standing in front of the Mona Lisa.
The next February, the couple recreated that moment after accepting the award for Best International Group at the 2019 Brit Awards. Since they were unable to attend the award ceremony they issued their acceptance speech through Instagram dressed in complimentary designer suits admiring a portrait of Markle wearing a sparkling crown and pearl necklaces.
In an exclusive statement to theGrio Arisukwu, a Nigerian-American illustrator and cartoonist, explains why in light of this month’s royal shakeup, he felt compelled to create the piece entitled, Everything is Love.
“Us Black folks have a sixth sense when it comes to racism. Therefore, when the UK media began attacking Meghan Markle with all that negative press, we knew it was for one reason — the color of her skin,” said the illustrator and cartoonist. “So Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to move to North America inspired me to create this art as a symbol of Black solidarity.”
Arisukwu also notes, “Putting Harry and Meghan in Jay and Bey’s place felt like the perfect way of telling them, “Not only do we have love for you, you’re a part of our community.”