Over the past month, global Black Lives Matter protests have been seen in many parts of the world, in response to the murder of George Floyd, and Police Brutality against black people.

The Black Lives Matter movement, as all political movements over history, has created some of the most powerful art of our times. Artists are expressing their concerns and support for the black lives that are at constant risk and subject to unfair, state-sanctioned discrimination and violence.

Source: Pinterest

In light of the recent events, here is a round-up, in no rank, 7 Thought-Provoking Artworks From the #BlackLivesMatter Movement:

1. Reyna Noriega’s Illustrations

Source: Instagram @reynanoriega

The 27-year-old digital illustrator’s work can be viewed at reynanoriega.com. In this piece, she juxtaposes her signature lighter themes – cool hues and calming tones, joyous and warm floral imagery – with a darker undertone of the state-sanctioned violence against black communities.

The illustration is a depiction of a black woman being violated by the police within the comforts of her own space, her name added to the long list of black people violated in the same way before her.

2. Calida Rawles, Lost in the Shuffle, 2019

Calida Rawles, Lost in the Shuffle, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

In this particular piece, titled Lost in the Shuffle, 2019, Calida Rawles depicts an expression of exhaustion on the faces of two black men floating atop cool, calming blue water with their arms raised.

Her work displayed in the gallery Various Small Fires exchanges for donations of $100 or more to organizations the Minnesota Freedom Fund, the Equal Justice Fund Initiative, and Black Lives Matter.

3. Amina Pagliari’s Mosaic Painting

Source: Amina Pagliari 2020 Acrylic/Mixed Media

Inspired by the death of George Floyd, Amina Pagliari created this brilliant, filled-with-racialized imagery piece of art.

The text in the piece are excerpts from poems inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The choker and chain imagery around the neck is symbolic of the chains worn by slaves, and the gold color acts to “conceal” or attempts to cover up the blood of innocent black lives shed in a system of racial violence.

The piece has already sold on eBay, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Black Lives Matter movement.

4. The United States of Attica, Faith Ringgold, 1972.

Faith Ringgold, United States of Attica, 1972

Dedicated to the people who died in the Attica Correctional Facility in 1971, also known as the Attica Prison uprising, Attica Prison rebellion and/or the Attica Prison riot, occurred at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. The 1972’s red-green map of America has dates of the most notorious acts of violence in each state – race riots, lynching, Indian wars, with a statistical history of the dead, wounded and imprisoned or missing in all the wars from the Revolutionary War of 1776 to the Vietnam War.

Over the years, people have updated systematized violence on the corners of the poster as well.

5. American People Series #20: Die. Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold, American People Series #20: Die, 1967 (Ringgold discusses the series here)

This particular piece, number 10 in the American People Series, depicts death, loss, injury in the form of blood splattered evenly across bodies of all race, age, and class – implying that no one is safe from chaos. The children holding each other for comfort at the very center of the picture suggests the effects of violence creating ripple effects into the future generations.

6. Doctaward’s Illustrations

Source @doctaword via Instagram

In this image the artist recreates the scene of George Floyd’s murder, being suffocated under the knee of Derek Chauvin – where the protestors hold the heavy, institutional burden of police brutality collectively off of the victim.

7. Serve and Protect. Gregory Ragland.

Source: Twisted Sifter

Outside the Salt Lake City, Public Safety Building sits the sculpture Serve and Protect. In ASL, the sign means ‘servitude’, and this is a representation of the service expected of police officers and first responders. 

In response to the George Floyd murder, an unknown protester poured red, blood-like paint across the palms – a depiction of the cruelty and bloodshed that has occurred at the hands of those who were appointed to protect.

Learn here about what your rights are, how to exercise them, and what to do when your rights are violated.

Looking to explore more art genres? Head over to Joe Latimer.com for a multidisciplinary, visually stunning experience. ☮️❤️🎨

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