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Brooklyn-based artist Kambui Olujimi has created an illustration series in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police, and the protests against systemic racism and police brutality that followed. The work was commissioned by Creative Time Comics as part of its efforts to highlight artistic voices speaking out on topics like COVID-19, civil rights, and more.
“Kambui began posting these intense, striking ink-on-paper sketches of Minneapolis’s 3rd precinct burning,” said Natasha Logan, Deputy Director of Creative Time. “They felt raw and urgent, attuned to witnessing the brutal transgressions of racial violence and the uprisings that have recently subsumed our nation. Using reality and a touch of whimsy to highlight stark truths and tensions, his intervention to the comic format serves as a powerful mode of resistance.”
Entitled Kilter, Olujimi’s six-part comic illustrates scenes from recent days like the burning of a Minneapolis police precinct and a sign that reads “JUSTICE FOR GEORGE,” a cake representing the many birthdays that Breonna Taylor will never experience, and an image of reporter Omar Jimenez being taken into police custody on live television.
“One of the roles of art is to serve as a record of the time in which it is made. 2020 has been a complex year and one we felt the need to capture in real-time,” said Justine Ludwig, Creative Time’s Executive Director.
Conceived at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Creative Time Comics 2020 initiative honors the role of the medium as a means of communication, commissioning a new artist weekly respond to current events. Creative Time is a non-profit organization that has been commissioning public art projects worldwide for the last 40 years, including past works like Tribute in Light after 9/11 or Paul Chan’s Waiting for Godot in New Orleans.