“Requiem (for George Floyd)”
“Requiem (for George Floyd)” recontextualizes a poster I originally created in 1992.
I designed and published the screen print “Elvis Ain’t King” to protest the 1991 beating of Rodney King. The poster notes the disparities between the black experience and the white one; between heroes who are lauded (like Elvis Presley) and heroes who are murdered (Martin Luther King Jr.); between motorists who are simply arrested and those that are beaten first (Rodney King).
To mark the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, I hand cut a paper stencil with the words “I can’t breathe” and used it to alter my original poster. “Requiem” collapses past and present into one moment to link two filmed examples of police violence. While the amended poster mourns the death of George Floyd, it also implicitly mourns America’s lack of progress over the last thirty years in curbing racist police brutality.
The original poster is in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; United States Library of Congress; Museum für Gestaltung Zurich; and Letterform Archive, San Francisco.
• Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
• Museum für Gestaltung Zurich
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EDITION: 3 signed and numbered from the original editions of “Elvis Ain’t King”
DIMENSIONS: 39 x 19.25 inches
MEDIA: Screen printed in black, warm red (or yellow) and Payne’s grey Nazdar 5500 flat poster inks on archival rag; stenciled in silver spray paint
PRINTING: Jeff Wasserman at Wasserman Silk Screen Co. / Santa Monica
DESIGN: © 1992–2021 Mark Fox, BlackDog / SF