I was a bit surprised by this-- I had noticed the very atmospheric artwork in the film's opening, but hadn't thought afterwards about the artist. I had presumed that a local Liberian artist had done the work--especially given how quintessentially local the art evidently is.
But it is not a local, Liberian artist. Instead, this is the work of a Dane, Olaf Hajek. As is so often the case, the sentiment is best encapsulated in the comments section of the ADA post, from an African Digital Art visitor named "Lars:"
Nice visuals, but they bordering on a rip-off of local artists work. Why not use a Liberian artist? There are plenty of capable billboard and cartoon artists in Liberia who have emerged in recent years to become artists of international standards. In fact pic #2 is lifted from an anti-rape billboard still visible in Monrovia. The producers would have done better to use photographs of actual street art, rather than pay a European to cut and paste them under his name. This is not xenophobia, its simply common courtesy to offer a shot to local talent who have survived the hell portrayed in this film, and now struggle to make a decent living. What a shame. Opportunities like this to do right by local artists do not come by too often.
Via the BBC, above is that anti-rape billboard, which is prominently situated on Tubman Boulevard near the Airfield. Veteran Monrovian ex-pat Chris Herwig's Flickr photo stream has several more images of it, ©2007. As you can see, the pair is indeed copied entirely: even the color of the clothing has not been changed by the Danish drawer. I would be interested to investigate the professional disposition of Hajek in this situation: would Hajek have so readily reproduced an exact copy of a fellow European's handiwork? Does he not recognize this (unfortunately nameless) Liberian artist as having equal creative protections other artists' work?
Completely aside from that issue, Lars is totally right, what a shame in terms of missed professional opportunity. Despite a handful of individual, noteworthy talents, the contemporary Liberian art scene is moribund, restricted by a dearth of patrons, supporters, and venues outside of a tiny clientele for paintings and woodwork, and the occasional commercial opportunity such as a billboard or sign.