Arts + Culture
From the series 'I Am Not My Hair' by Aisha Mohamed. Photo courtesy of artist.

This Digital Art Series Celebrates the Ethereal Beauty of Bald Black Women

Somali-British digital artist Aisha Mohamed shows how black women's versatility goes beyond having hair in her newest series, "I Am Not My Hair."

Aisha Mohamed is a 22-year-old digital artist from South London who takes images of our favorite black beauties and places them in an ethereal, Afrofuturist realm.

Mohamed took interest in creating digital art since she was a teen, but she says she had to walk away from creating and take a break. "Back then it was mostly just about creating art from my favorite TV shows and films. After a while, I realized it wasn't really fulfilling me the way I needed," she says via email. "After taking a long hiatus, when I did return to creating digital pieces, I knew that it had to be in conjunction with something that resonated with me. Black women were the answer."


Her newest series, I Am Not My Hair, has already has made its rounds on the internet—not only because it's stunning, but also because of its message.

In this series, Mohamed remixes portraits of Danai Gurira, Aweng Chuol and Ataui Deng, placing their rich skin against muted colors that emulate the the different shades of the sky at night. A sea of textured stars layer the portraits, as if one is staring at a constellation. For Mohamed, I Am Not My Hair gives another perspective regarding the relationship a black woman can have with her hair.

"I did a piece a few months ago showcasing the versatility of black hair, which was really fun, but I wanted to flip it somehow," she says. "Our hair can be a very integral part of our culture and history, but I think a lot of the time people think black hair is part of our identity—at the end of the day, it's just hair and I wanted to reflect that in some way. My hair isn't the most important part of me."

With or without our versatile tresses, black women still command a presence many can only emulate at only a fraction—and this series proves that. Take a look at I Am Not My Hair below. To keep up with Aisha Mohamed, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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