After the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, New York-based artist, Dread Scott, decided to make a statement. Outside Chelsea’s Jack Shainman Gallery, where the artist is currently displaying work in a group show, For Freedoms, Scott hung a black flag. On it, he printed in all caps, “A MAN WAS LYNCHED BY POLICE YESTERDAY,” mirroring a banner that hung on the front of the Union Square NAACP building from 1936 to 1938.
Scott created the flag originally after the Walter Scott killing in South Carolina, but asked fellow artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman to include his updated installation after Sterling and Castile’s deaths last week. He told Artnet, “It’s been decades that I’ve been following police murder people and at a certain point I decided I needed to create an updated version of it for the NAACP.”
Dread Scott is a multimedia artist, whose work pushes cultural boundaries by challenging conformity, humanity and societal norms. His art, which incorporates and subverts cultural imagery and American iconography, is an attempt to “propel history forward,” and provide the viewer with a vision of “how the world could be.”
“This is a world where a tiny handful of people controls the great wealth and knowledge humanity as a whole has created,” Scott says. “It is a world of profound polarization, exploitation and suffering and billions are excluded from intellectual development and full participation in society.” He continues, “It does not have to be this way and my art is part of forging a radically different world.”
You can see Scott’s work in For Freedoms through July 29.