1992- I remember how I felt when the Rodney King verdict came down and LA was engulfed; not in flames but rebellion. I was baffled, and without the skill or analysis to do anything about it. But I did not forget it. Like my first time being pulled over for "fitting the description" with my mom by cops-my mom knew what they were capable of even back then and told me to put my hands up in plain sight. Maybe thats why I was allowed to have "Fuck The Police" or "Holler if you hear me" playing in my room.
I don't have any new words of wisdom and my thoughts on the current state of the state (police, city & state govt, corporations) are much better in a one on one conversation, but I hope to share with these art pieces over the years that I have been speaking on it, with like minds, and I will continue to do so, just trying to find the words and the images to express exactly how pissed off I am. If you are an artist and pissed off too, speak on it. You don't have to have the best analysis or idea, just speak on it and make your voice heard.
2001-"Police Brutality didn't die on 9-11" painted in West Oakland 2001 right after 9-11 for an Oct 22nd Police Brutality march, at the time the murder of Idriss Stelley was heavy on my mind and all these folks running around with NYPD on their hats/cars. J-Live's "Satisfied" was in heavy rotation.
2003-Based on a photograph taken after the murder of Timothy Thomas in Cincinatti's Over The Rhine neighborhood, I painted this image over and over again, extremely pissed off. This was around the time that the Trust Your Struggle Collective was formed. The Coup's whole LP "Party Music" was in heavy rotation, specifically "Get Up" .
2006-This was a poster illustration for TYS show All City Sacred show. A show that used fine art, illustration, sculpture, and installation to talk about oppressed people's right to rebel through demonstration, art, actions, and just existing. Was listening to Dead Prez's LP Revolutionary But Gangster a lot, specifically "Turn off the Radio"
2013-This mural was painted after the decision not to charge George Zimmerman with the murder of Trayvon Martin-with the help of countless hands, I'm just happy I got to work on it for a few hours with my son who was now old enough to understand what had happened and wanted to help paint it. This was a collaboration with TYS , hella local artists, and Dignidad Rebelde. Bounce, Yoshi, Scott La Rock, and Cece also repped hard by painting Oscar Grant previously. I was definitely listening to Bambu's "Like Us" still and "Rent Money".
2014-Having to continue painting is part of a long struggle for revolutionary change. As I venture more and more into the realm of children's books and publishing and less public art I hope to meet other illustrators who are not afraid of speaking on this because there are so many children being killed and children being left without parents. Rip Mike Brown, Alex Nieto, and Eric Garner, Andy Lopez, and so many more. I think I'm going to go listen to Killer Mike's speech again. Keep struggling yall, keep fighting back!We will win!
If you are seeing reports about protests in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, Mexico-know that it is connected. Your fight is theirs and vice versa.