#SayTheirNames is a project which, for me, began with Breonna Taylor. On the day that would be her 27th birthday, I painted her portrait. I caught myself smiling back at her smiling image, forgetting that I was painting a girl who was no longer with us. It was a very painful moment; this realization. The painful moment passed and with it the fear, the anger, the sickness and nausea of a haunted void.
This artwork is a memorial of all the victims of systemic racism. I call this artwork after the slogan say their names and the goal is to bring their faces to the memory of the people. Working on each of them, understanding each of their faces, diving into each story makes me feel like dressing a beloved dead. Each story is so sad and unfair . The human mind wishing to escape unbearable reality tends to try to forget. But the lack of memory creates a void full of sickness, fear and guilt. Honor their memory mourning them with bright colors, break the silence and open the cases and bringing justice is necessary not only for the families and friends of the victims : it is a catharsis of the humanity’s soul.
I want Breonna's smile to stay like a triumph and I wish to mourn all the victims with bright colors.
I want their looks, their smiles, their names to be imprinted into people’s memories forever.