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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 is a New York based artist whose recent portraits in coloured pencil and watercolour have a real sense of sensitivity and fragility.
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.
Header Image: Paintings by Lex Marie (https://www.lexmarie.com/)