I Can’t Breathe, 2021
Installation of six UV Pigment Prints on Aluminum DiBond for Outdoor Panels, 48” height, variable length dimensions.
A Public Art Exhibition produced by artist Julio Valdez from a series of six drawings inspired by the images of racial injustice that have collectively entered our minds through the media. Each drawing was scanned and printed on photo aluminum panels for outdoor. The drawings include victims of police brutality, such as Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Installed in June 2021 at Collyer Brothers park, 5th Avenue @ 128 Street in Harlem, NYC with a Creative Engagement Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and exhibited as part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program.
The images of George Floyd’s murder by the police haunted me relentlessly, so I started the series of work titled “I Can’t Breathe,” as an exploration of how art happens when it is stirred by injustices and America’s longstanding tacit acceptance of racism as a “norm” in our society.
Formally, I use the “all over technique,” to encourage the attention of the viewer to the entire visual field. I do this to convey the feelings I am trying to evoke, such as fear, powerlessness, and isolation.
The drawings take on a transparency of almost impressionistic quality rendered with grey tones and fluid circular lines. This all over imagery reminds us the importance of not only reacting to news of injustices, but to also reflect and remember that as a community, we can overcome and reveal the creative potential in all of us, the human family.