ARTLANTA is a multidimensional creative artist, painter, and musician currently residing in Miami, Florida.
Well known for painting exotic luxury cars of millionaires and celebrities around the world, his unique paint-splatter style has cultivated collaborations with Morohoshi a.k.a. Mr. Lamborghini, in Tokyo, Japan, Ahmed Amwell, the luxury supercar legend of Dubai, and most notably the car collection of American Latin superstar artist 6ix9ine.
ARTLANTA has painted exotic cars around the globe. Since painting his first car in 2020, ARTLANTA now has a portfolio of cars with his art on them, including Lamborghinis, Ferraris, DeLorean‘s, and Rolls-Royce‘s.
Born Lawal Izuagbe in Atlanta, Georgia, Izuagbe’s parents were Nigerian immigrants. ARTLANTA grew up in challenging circumstances and was introduced to art through graffiti as a child. He always knew he had a natural talent for painting but never pursued it until later. The moniker ARTLANTA was derived from a childhood nickname, “lanta,” with the addition of “art” when he started diving into the world of art.
“I grew up dirt poor in the projects of Atlanta. That’s when I touched my first paintbrush and spray paint can. I used to tag trains and buses as a kid. I never went to art school or had an art class. I just always had the gift in me to paint.”
Inspiration to start creating art came from ARTLANTA’s late father, a painter who passed away when the artist was just five years old. His natural talent eventually led him to pursue painting seriously, and he has since sold his work for tens of thousands of dollars. One notable achievement in the early stages of painting was completing a Pablo Escobar portrait in just 20 minutes, significantly enhancing workflow efficiency.
The decision to take art seriously occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Bored at home, ARTLANTA explored painting, leading to friends encouraging a serious commitment to the craft. One significant art piece for ARTLANTA is a self-portrait created during challenging times. When asked what inspires him the most when it comes to painting, he said, “Basquiat and Andy Warhol. They inspire me because I love the colors Basquiat uses in his paintings, they are vibrant and pop just like my art & Andy Warhol loves to do portraits and that’s something I mastered.”
Dropping out of high school at 18, the artist faced hardships in Los Angeles, experiencing homelessness before achieving magnified success by 25. When asked about his journey with perservering, he stated “The first couple of years living out there were rough. I didn’t know anybody and I was homeless sleeping in cars and motels. I sold my first painting at 24 for $200 and just recently sold my latest painting for $48,000.”
Now living in Miami, he praises the city’s atmosphere, considering it the Mecca of art and a land of opportunities. It is home to a vibrant art scene with numerous world-class museums, galleries, and art fairs. The city’s tropical climate and diverse population have made it a popular destination for artists and creative professionals. When asked what’s his words to live by these days, he answers,
“Be different. Think different. Live different.”
“Created to create.”
“Create, don’t destroy.”
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”
Reflecting on personal growth, ARTLANTA emphasizes the journey from a challenging upbringing to the present success and what helps him block out those challenges to maintain the creative flow. For creating art, ARTLANTA says the song “Johanna” by Omah Lay sets a vibe, evoking energy and freedom for the creative process.
“The song Johanna by Omah Lay sets the vibe. That song right there puts me in my motion where I feel the energy, I feel the vibe and I can create with freedom.
Success defined as peace and happiness varies for each person and ARTLANTA, he encourages individuals to set their own standards. “Success, to me, is being good at doing what you love. My rules are to stay focused & humble. Just knowing where I came from and where I’m at now…just looking back it’s amazing. I always have that in mind, don’t ever give up. Because from where I came from it’s such a big jump.”
“Anything is possible, all you have to do is dream big. If I can do it you can too! I am living proof.”
When discussing ARTLANTA’s latest venture, he details how the inspiration behind ART BEAST and how it has exceeded expectations. “The inspiration came from me not having anyone to help me out in the art game, so I created a whole new lane for upcoming artists to have a platform to sell their art.”
ART BEAST is a music, fashion, and art festival that currently takes place at Art Basel in Miami. The event brings large and small brands, musical acts, and artists together to build a community and celebrate creative expression. ART BEAST is also an art label that signs other artists who don’t have brand awareness and publicity and gives them an opportunity to showcase their work to the world in the same way a music label does for a musician.
The development of ART BEAST stemmed from his desire to provide a platform for emerging artists. Notably, ARTLANTA hosted an Art Beast event that sold over 2,500 tickets, thoroughly exceeding expectations.
ARTLANTA also discusses things people may be surprised to know – his Nigerian roots, proficiency in playing drums, music production, and a passion for fashion. He previously made music as a duo with Wav3pop, which amassed over 20 million streams with no label support. Their YouTube content consisted of music videos, vlogs, challenges, and pranks. They would also make music outside of YouTube and release it on SoundCloud and Spotify. The duo was inspired by a variety of artists, including Drake, The Weeknd, and Migos. They were known for their catchy melodies and infectious energy.
“Man, music is my first love. I started doing music when I was 13. Making music with WAV3Pop, we did Coachella, got collab songs with Loud Luxury, 21 Extremes. So I’ve been down that road but now I’m doing solo music. I have a solo project coming.”
ARTLANTA’s story is a testament to the power of art to transform lives. From humble beginnings to international recognition, ARTLANTA is an inspiration to us all. Looking ahead, ARTLANTA is building a prolific art label, planning out an art car museum, and teasing additional ventures on the horizon. Also, with the continuation of ART BEAST there are certainly exciting developments for the future. When asked what we should look forward to, ARTLANTA says,
“I’m building a art label, watch out for that. I’m building an art car museum, definitely look out for that. Some other stuff coming soon too that I can’t exactly say but be on the lookout.”
Connect With ARTLANTA!
Lighting: Soren Knippen
Stylist: Tony Logan
Video: Korie Jenkins
Writer / Creative Director: Mike Fox
Location: Casa Morada Resort