As months continue to pile up with fresh horrors every week, it's becoming all too easy to grow numb to the objectively bleak reality we currently find ourselves in. A deadly pandemic, a widespread economic depression and a wave of publicized cases of police brutality are all the new normal, but that doesn't mean these issues have become any less urgent to address.
In solidarity with two of today's hardest hit groups — Black transgender people and sex workers — nonprofit arts collective Towards Utopia has launched a print sale benefiting grassroots organizations like Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S.), Sex Workers Outreach Project Brooklyn and For the Gworls.
Curated by Restaurant Projects' K. O. Nnamdie in partnership with Phile Magazine, the sale features a variety of established and rising artists, including Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley, Luke Gilford, Matteo Callegari, Julia Foo and Richie Shazam. Ranging in price from $50-$200 and covering a breadth of mediums, from photography to drawing and painting, the sale is set to go on throughout September or until prints run out.
"Everyone has a role to play in the revolution," Towards Utopia said in a release. "While this year has brought new breadth to the term 'activism' and what it means to sustainably fight for Black America, we are finding that the fight for Black Trans people and Sex Workers continues to fall short. This year alone has seen a tragic increase in the number of hate crimes targeting Black trans men and women. Bree Black, Merci Mack, Draya McCarty, Dustin Parker, Tony McDade and far too many more had their beautiful lives cut short by hate and violence."
In the wake of controversy surrounding the Whitney Museum announcing — and subsequently cancelling — an exhibition comprised of work sourced from similar print sales, Towards Utopia included a disclaimer to protect all their artists. By purchasing the artwork, you agree to never display it in a museum, gallery or exhibition without the artist's written consent. You also cannot resell the work unless the artist gives their permission, and even then more than 25% of proceeds from the sale must go to an anti-racist organization.
"We wish it didn't have to be said, but in light of recent events, we feel it important to underline this point in order to best protect our artists," Towards Utopia wrote Instagram. "We are committed to offering affordable art in ongoing solidarity with working class people."
Head to Towards Utopia's website to purchase your print and check out a preview of the selection, below.
Photography: Charles Caesar (Courtesy of Towards Utopia)