Awol Erizku was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and grew up in New York's south Bronx. He graduated from Cooper Union, New York, with a BFA in 2010 and received an MFA from Yale's Visual Arts programme in 2014. Erizku then worked under photographers David LaChapelle, Lorna Simpson, Margaret Morton, and Christine Osinski. In 2015, in collaboration with MoMA PopRally, Erizku's work was the focus of an event held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. His work is included in numerous international collections including The FLAG Art Foundation in New York.