Here's How Artists Are Using Their Work to Support Black Lives Matter and Social Justice Movements

Banksy, Takashi Murakami, and Lauren Tsai are among the artists who are creating or selling their pieces to help the fight against racism and police brutality.

Floyd mural

Image via Getty/Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times

Floyd mural

Creatives around the world are joining the calls for social change.

In the weeks since George Floyd's police killing, many members of the art world have started using their talent to support the protests against police brutality and systemic racism. Painters, photographers, graphic illustrators, and street artists are creating and/or selling their pieces to benefit organizations like Black Lives Matter and the Minnesota Freedom Fund, as well as the crowdfunding campaigns for families of police brutality victims.

In honor of these efforts, we've created a list of those who are decrying racial injustices through their art, while encouraging others to join the fight.

Takashi Murakami

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has created a limited-edition print series inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The six pieces, which will be limited to 300 editions each, are expected to drop next month via NTWRK. On Tuesday, Murakami announced he and the e-commerce platform were in talks to donate 100 percent of the sales proceeds to various "organizations dedicated to changing the systems oppressing the Black community"; these included Black Lives Matter, the Equal Justice Initiative, and Color of Change.


Elusive street artist Banksy expressed solidarity with the movement over the weekend, when he unveiled a powerful piece that showed a vigil candle burning the American flag. Banksy accompanied the painting with a candid statement about his intial hesitation to address the issue of systemic racism.

"At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It's not their problem. It's mine," he wrote. "People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their life a misery, but it's not their job to fix it. They can't, no one will let them in the apartment upstairs. This is a white problem. And if white people don't fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in."


KAWS hosted a sale on his webstore this week in support of Black Lives Matter and Color of Change. The event included a restock of the KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS book, pieces from the artist's personal inventory, as well as a new figurine called "TAKE."

"A portion of all sales on KAWSONE will go toward supporting organizations that I believe are making positive change happen," he wrote on Instagram, before announcing his fundraising goal of $250,000.

Lauren Tsai

Lauren Tsai has released limited-edition "Break From the System" prints in support of Black Lives Matter. The illustrator/actress announced this week that the pieces would be available to purchase for only 48 hours on her official website. Each 12" x 18" print will be signed and numbered, with all proceeds going toward BLM.

Rannel Ngumuya

Rannel Ngumuya has dropped his "Revolution 2020" piece dedicated to the fight for justice and the memory of George Floyd. The LA-based digital artist is donating all proceeds from the sales of the prints to the fund for Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. The pieces are available for $50 on Ngumuya's website.

Brittany Tucker

Brooklyn-born artist Brittany Tucker is auctioning off her piece titled "Looking." The bidding began at $500 and will close at noon PT this Thursday. Tucker's gallery, Steve Turner Los Angeles, will match the winning bid. All sales proceeds will be donated directly to the NAACP.

Emilia Wild Olsen

Emilia Wild Olsen is sending small original drawings to anyone who has contributed at least $50 "to reputable mutual aid, bail fund, (any city), an official Gofundme in support of someone murdered or hurt by police officers," or any of the organizations listed here. Those who donated can email screenshot of their receipts to Olsen with subject line "California Poppies." You can learn more about Olsen's project on her website.

Calida Rawles and Diedrick Brackens

Calida Rawles and Deidrick Brackens have collectively raised $50,000 for social justice initiatives. The artists teamed up with LA gallery Various Small Fires on the print edition fundraiser, which benefited Minnesota Freedom Find, Black Visions Collective, Black Lives Matter, and the Equal justice Fund Initiative. On Tuesday, Rawles and Brackens announced they had reached the maximum order of poster donations, but encouraged their followers to continue supporting the causes.

Ebecho Muslimova

Ebecho Muslimova is selling limited edition Fatebe prints through NYC gallery Magenta Plains. Proceeds from the sales are being donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Bail Project, and the Emergency Release Fund. On Tuesday, the gallery announced $30,000 had been raised.

Micah Spear

Micah Spear has auctioned off a sculptural piece of "burnt $10,000 USD bill encased in an 8x5x2.5 inch piece of solid lucite." Money from the auction, which closed on Tuesday, will benefit Organizing Black, a grassroots organization that fights for the liberation all black people.

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