Old painting, new wheatpaste.
In 2011, I began a series of paintings called Victim of American Fear.(The title is from this article by Adam Serwer for The Prospect. As an illustrator, I’m often inspired to create a painting from something I’ve read.)
The series was meant to address the killings of black people that happen when people find themselves afraid of black people just because they are black. Think Trayvon Martin. Think Oscar Grant.
Also think Renisha McBride. If I continue this series, I’ll want to include a black woman.
After the recent killings of more black bodies, I decided to try these paintings out on the street as wheatpastes.
Critiquing my own work, I do think these paintings are a little over-literal, with the gun targets covering the bodies. I don’t mean to be provocative just for the sake of it. But I do think it’s a strong image.
These are pasted in Newark.
1000 roses on Canfield, the area which Mike Brown was murdered.
Rare photograph of Spike Lee, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is the voice on the second track. I asked her to speak her thoughts on time and love. She was one of the first to bring up the phenomena of Saturn’s Return. It brought a name to the struggle and growth i’ve seen in myself and the people around me these past few years. This sample of our conversation ended up becoming a great introduction to the Fly Like An Eagle piece which dealt with time.
Saturn’s Return (Tatyana Fazlalizadeh)
All purchases go back into making more music.
This video was shot and edited by Dean Peterson.
Dean and I got in contact a few months ago. He liked the project, I liked his work, and so we made this video that documents the process behind creating STWTS posters.
It’s important for me to show the process behind creating these pieces. Each portrait is an actual woman who has a story, who goes through this treatment daily, who has something to say about it that deserves to be heard.
I initially decided to portray the women as drawings instead of photographs because it was my natural inclination as a portrait painter. But also, drawing someone’s portrait makes you really look at them. You have to recognize their humanity not just physically but personally. And I hope that’s what comes across when people see these portraits in the street.
I’m rambling. Watch the video.
Thanks to Zahira and Koku for talking so candidly with me.
i see you bad-dominicana!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous said: Towards the whole "pronouns hurt people's feelings" topic. Am I REALLY the only person on the planet that thinks people are becoming far to sensative? Nearly to the point that they shouldn't leave their little home bubbles in the case that a bird chirps next to them in a way that sounds like a mean word. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, we're becoming a little TOO coddling and people need to learn to deal with simplistic shit like words. And yes, I've been insulted and made fun of. I got over it. So can you.
Supposedly invented by the Chinese, there is an ancient form of torture that is nothing more than cold, tiny drops falling upon a person’s forehead.
On its own, a single drop is nothing. It falls upon the brow making a tiny splash. It doesn’t hurt. No real harm comes from it.
In multitudes, the drops are still fairly harmless. Other than a damp forehead, there really is no cause for concern.
The key to the torture is being restrained. You cannot move. You must feel each drop. You have lost all control over stopping these drops of water from splashing on your forehead.
It still doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But person after person, time and time again—would completely unravel psychologically. They all had a breaking point where each drop turned into a horror. Building and building until all sense of sanity was completely lost.
"It was just a joke, quite being so sensitive."
"They used the wrong pronoun, big deal."
"So your parents don’t understand, it could be worse."
Day after day. Drop after drop. It builds up. A single instance on its own is no big deal. A few drops, not a problem. But when you are restrained, when you cannot escape the drops, when it is unending—these drops can be agony.
People aren’t sensitive because they can’t take a joke. Because they can’t take being misgendered one time. Because they lack a thick skin.
People are sensitive because the drops are unending and they have no escape from them.
You are only seeing the tiny, harmless, single drop hitting these so-called “sensitive” people. You are failing to see the thousands of drops endured before that. You are failing to see the restraints that make them inescapable.