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10 Artists Respond to Black Lives Matter

10 Artists Respond to Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter protests have taken place all over the world in the weeks following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As a way to process emotional responses, or to communicate a direct message, there has been a surge in political art being made and shared on social media. Here are ten powerful examples that we have seen in the past few weeks.


Adrian Brandon

Brooklyn based Adrian Brandon has re-commenced his ‘Stolen’ series, where he uses graphite and ink to create portraits of black men and women whose lives were taken by US police officers. He limits the amount of time he spends adding colour to each portrait by a significant number to each victim – each drawing frustratingly unfinished and cut short.

View this post on Instagram

Atatiana Jefferson. 28 years old, 28 minutes of color. Stolen on October 12th, 2019 in Forth Worth, TX. She was up late with her 8-year-old nephew playing video games. The officer was responding to a neighbor calling about her front door being open. I feel rushed as I create these pieces. I want to complete their portraits so badly. To be able to see all the layers of colors in their face come to life. I feel a strong sense of panic during the process, which is a feeling Black people experience far too often when engaging with police. The timer (which I cannot see) is always in the back of my mind. How much time is left? When will this be over? I need more time… They deserve more time. #stolenseriesbyab #atatianajefferson #justiceforatatiana #sayhername #sayhisname #saytheirnames #breonnataylor ##justiceforbre #georgefloyd #justiceforfloyd #ahmaudarbery #justiceforahmaud #blacklivesmatter #stopkillingus #nojusticenopeace #handsupdontshoot

A post shared by Adrian Brandon (@ayy.bee) on Jun 9, 2020 at 10:59am PDT



Rosanna Morris

Co-founder of Bristol based print studio Cato Press, Rosanna Morris’ powerful linocut prints often communicate political messages. Ahead of the Bristol Black Lives Matter protests, Rosanna produced a number of posters that are available to download and print from her website for free.



Errin Donahue

The New York based street photographer has found solace in creating representations of famous works of art, incorporating black women to allow them to take centre stage.

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The Monae Lisa: What started as a way to calm me down after these gut-wrenching, emotional, hopeful and crushing days is becoming a series about replacing our history—in these paintings, through appropriation, as our culture has been appropriated. Though more in the vein of alternate reality a la @nkjemisin, the title is inspired by @janellemonae and her radically imaginative Afrofuturism (and I love her for big-upping our #nonbinary siblings). Also, a big thanks to @bust_magazine for featuring women’s art on your back page and to @essence for your winter issue with #ReginaKing about black women in the art world – both are inspiring and needed (especially when all you wanna do is huddle in a ball and cry)! . . . . #blackartasprotest #artasprotest #blacklivesmatter #blackexcellence #blackgirlmagic #reclaimingblack #blackifiedart #vermeerremix #blackwomenmatter #blackart #fuckwhitesupremacy #nkjemisin #blm #monalisa #justiceforgeorgefloyd #protest #justice #racism #nojusticenopeace #icantbreathe #policebrutality #black #blackgirlmagic #equality #art #blackhistory #lgbt #feminist #melanin

A post shared by Errin Donahue (@errinjean) on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:20am PDT



Jessica Bastidas

Artist and illustrator Jessica Bastidas recently posted a sketch of protestors she drew, alongside examples of street art she saw on protests in San Diego.



Nick Hand

In Bristol a few years ago, letterpress artist Nick Hand produced specially designed prints to place beneath the now toppled statue of Edward Colston (the Deputy Governer of the Royal African Company which profited off trading enslaved African people). He shared his work on Instagram in the aftermath of the recent Black Lives Matter protest.

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Everyday for eight years I’ve walked past this statue, I am Bristolian. We have tried for decades to have this statue removed. These are my prints at the base of the statue a few years ago. I had a man in a top hat call me a disgrace during a peaceful protest outside a church, where he and his Merchant venturer friends celebrate Colston’s birthday each year. In 1831 a popular uprising in the city led to the first Reform Act in 1832 (the first step to Universal Suffrage). In 1980 St Paul’s was the first of the race riots in the UK. So it was no surprise on Sunday when my fellow citizens took direct action. This action has tumbled into so much more debate and positive action throughout the country. Today I am a very proud Bristolian.

A post shared by Nick Hand (@nick_hand) on Jun 10, 2020 at 12:03am PDT



Lex Marie

Lex Marie is a Maryland-based artist whose recent work has portrayed young children of colour in a world of protest and pandemic. The paintings inspire thought in how the current climate may impact upon the development of children.



Traci Mims

Traci Mims is a painter who uses her work to create narratives. Most recently, she has used Instagram to show her work alongside text that raises awareness of issues such as racism and domestic violence.



Liz Adams

Liz Adams is a New York based artist whose recent portraits in coloured pencil and watercolour have a real sense of sensitivity and fragility.

Breonna Taylor
Liz Adams
Watercolour on paper



The Lino Type Daily

This project set up by DWRI Letterpress in Rhode Island, has recently shared some beautifully assembled and thought provoking letterpress artworks.



Toyin Ojih Odutola

Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola recently shared this new work on her Instagram account, a drawing named ‘Heuristic’.

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When I look at black skin, I think of it as a mercurial surface – a terrain, a construct, a projection, but also a place where so much beauty and positivity proliferates. It includes so much and it holds so much. (…) There's a lot of noise—images can be noisy. But with art, it's just you and this work. You're in dialogue with it, and there's no right or wrong way to engage. Art provides the opportunity for people to be still, to think and digest this moment and try to understand it. —TOO Read more from my interview with @jacquiviolet for @cnnstyle, where I discuss my recent exhibition, “Tell Me A Story, I Don’t Care If It’s True”—online now @jackshainman gallery’s Viewing Room—as well as the forthcoming solo exhibition “A Counterveiling Theory” @barbicancentre, London. _______ Pictured: Heuristic, 2020, #ToyinOjihOdutola.

A post shared by Toyin Ojih Odutola (@toyinojihodutola) on Jun 5, 2020 at 1:28pm PDT




Header Image: Paintings by Lex Marie (https://www.lexmarie.com/)


The post 10 Artists Respond to Black Lives Matter appeared first on Jackson's Art Blog.

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