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Why an Ivorian artist paints naked black women in sexual, grotesque positions

Meet Letitia Ky Ivorian painter who paints sexually explicit images of black women, but there's a deeper meaning to her paintings.

Letitia Ky and her paintings [Instagram]

The popular topics is her grotesques and sexual paintings and sculptures of black women.

One of her paintings tagged the Nymphomaniac has a woman secreting vaginal fluid, and it becomes a bottle with men floating in it.

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Another painting has a man sniffing a naked woman’s body like cocaine. Letitia believes that men should cherish and obsess over their women, like drugs.

There’s a painting where women are flying with breasts as wings.

There’s another picture of a pregnant woman in a bird's nest with her worm cracked and bleeding.

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Her latest painting has a woman extending her breasts for a man to climb, like Rapunzel, who lets down her hair for the prince to come to save her.

Letitia is a feminist who believes that African women have been exploited sexually for centuries. To her, an African woman just gives and gives; she gives her body not for pleasure but to please men. On the other hand, her paintings depict how sex itself can be all-consuming and can take over a person. Letitia’s paintings also showcase the pains of childbirth and the travails of motherhood.

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The reception of these images online had people saying that she os mentally disturbed, but that can’t be farther from the truth. Many people view sex as taboo and fail to see how it affects us spiritually and emotionally, and Letitia paints the physical manifestation of sex as vividly as possible.

Speaking to The Guardian, Letitia says sex has never been taboo in her family. “On my first day of college, my dad took a box of condoms and gave it to me, saying, ‘It will happen there. Make sure you protect yourself. My parents never tried to make sex taboo for me and my sister.”

Apart from these, Letitia makes sculptures with her hair. She creates sculptures that are unattainable to display, buy, or take on tour. Each piece is on her head, extending high into the space above and around her—"a growth of coils and curls that seem unfathomable,” according to The Guardian.

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Letitia's hair sculptures can be a womb with two middle fingers on each side, a vagina with period blood pouring from it, or animals, maps, or other inanimate objects.

Her hair artwork has made her quite famous, and she is seen as a leading figure in the natural hair movement.

She has almost half a million followers on Instagram and a social media contract with Elite Models under her partnership with TikTok. She has also moved into acting, appearing in Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings, with another film role in the works.

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