My name is Julie La Porta, but of course you can call me Julie. My Instagram is @artsyjuliee, where I post my art, even if I’m quite new to it. I’m almost 16, so I’m still in high school, in 10th grade. I live in Annecy, a little but beautiful city in France, where art is a big part of its culture and interest.
As I said, I’m quite new to art, that’s why I like to try several forms of it. I sew a bit, I also like embroidery, and I would love to try sculpture or pottery but the art that I like the most is painting. I like acrylics, watercolors, but my favorite one is oil painting. I like the way I can work with it and the final result, which is shinier than other types of painting. I am very interested in politics, and I like the idea of using art to transmit a message. I did this painting to share my opinion on what happened.
I called this project “Black Lives Matter”. It’s a 30×30 cm oil painting (If you are interested in buying it, please contact me).
This painting represents the face of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a cop, for no valid reason, a few days ago. I painted his face with a lot of colors: we can see a lot of red, blue and yellow. The background is all black and I wrote “I can’t breathe”, which were his last words, in white letters.
I’ve always liked to paint faces with a lot of colors, that are not even skin colors, just because I found it funny and I just like the fact that with paint, you can do whatever you want to. I’ve always enjoyed messing around with imaginary skin colors, almost like saying “Why do we even care about the color of someone’s skin?”, and so we don’t know where the person comes from, simply because I don’t find it of importance.
In George Floyd’s case, I think this style that I’ve been using for years fits perfectly. This is why I wanted to paint this man in lively colors. I, of course, am in no way mocking him or this movement. On the contrary, I am trying to show that in no way should someone’s skin color define someone or keep them from being able to do certain things, or even put them in danger. I chose lively colors because this man had a life. He was like all of us, and he deserved to live, to be happy, to enjoy all the pleasures of life. This idea obviously aligns with the “Black Lives Matter” movement because this man didn’t deserve to die, and nothing can justify his murder.
The background is black, with his last words written in white. I chose black for the background because it is the darkest color and it represents death. The words in white are to reinforce the idea that he didn’t deserve his death, and are in contrast with the darkness that surrounds him.
Like we all know it, George Floyd’s death was not the first unexplained deaths by police officers. But it was probably the one that pushed people over the edge. The protests are a lot larger than others, whether it’s online or on the streets, and that’s a good thing. i wanted to participate, in my own way, in this revolution. Doing a painting seemed like the obvious way for me to get the message through. What we can do as individuals to continue fighting, is talking about the injustice, again and again, to be heard and understood. Our biggest strength today is that we all stand together against racism and injustices. Even though I don’t have a huge following, I wanted to do this painting to talk about this issue and have others talk about it too. I hope that you will all talk about it around you and on social media. It may not seem like you’re making an impact, but it’s the little actions that build up to something big.
I’m not afraid to say it: I’m a white girl, so I’m privileged because of my skin color. So, we could think that I don’t even have to worry about this topic because it doesn’t affect me directly. And that’s true, I’m never going to be in danger because of my skin color, so I will never be able to understand what black people feel. But I know, and I’m sure, that we all have to stand by them. I know that because of our white privilege, we have to talk with them to help them to be heard. It’s not directly the fight of white people, but I just couldn’t stay quiet after what happened. It’s only injustice and I think that if we stay silent, we’re okay with what happened and what happens. So of course, this subject has to be important for everyone: as Jane Elliott said in one of her speeches, people know what’s happening. People don’t want to be treated like black people are in our society. So if you don’t speak, you think that it is okay and if you say that you don’t know what’s happening, you’re lying.
This subject is important because black lives do matter. This subject is important like every other subject where people are dying or are being dismissed for no valid reason (their skin color, their sexual preference, their religion…).
Here’s a list of petitions and organizations to donate funds and to support Black Lives Matter:
BLM DONATION: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD: http://chng.it/Rtpbxv2CdK
CHARGE THE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICERS:
https://www.change.org/p/change-org-the-minneapolis-police-officers-to-be-charged- for-murder-after-killing-innocent-black-man?recruiter=1094358894&utm_source=sha re_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_ter m=psf_combo_share_abi&recruited_by_id=1f5eb960-a054-11ea-8dce-e10f98d0711f
BLM MINNESOTA AFFILIATE DONATION: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/