BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A popular Baltimore artist known for her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama is back with another portrait, and this one is on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Amy Sherald’s new painting pays tribute to Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in March. Taylor’s death was one of several that sparked nationwide protests.
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“OUR humanity is bound up in HERS, for we can only be human together.”[sic]~Desmond Tutu 🤍🤍🤍 @withregram • @vanityfair Presenting Breonna Taylor for Vanity Fair’s September issue, “The Great Fire.” Five months have passed since police killed Breonna Taylor in her own home, a violent crime that our September issue guest editor Ta-Nehisi Coates ascribes to a belief in Black people as a disaster, as calamity. “I don’t know how else to comprehend the jackboots bashing in Breonna Taylor’s door and spraying her home with bullets, except the belief that they were fighting some Great Fire—demonic, unnatural, inhuman.” Coates chose the "The Great Fire" as the theme for the issue, which assembles activists, artists, and writers to offer a portrait of hope in a world where the possibility of a legitimate anti-racist majority is emerging for the first time in American history. “Something is happening,” writes @tanehisipcoates, “and I think to understand it, we must better understand the nature of this Great Fire.” For his cover story, Coates tells Breonna’s story through the words of her mother. Also in the issue: an oral history of the historic days after George Floyd's death; a portfolio of creatives and visionaries who capture the spirit—and urgency—of the moment; director @ava DuVernay's conversation with revolutionary Angela Davis; and much more. Read “The Great Fire” at the link in bio now. Painting by Amy Sherald (@asherald).
Sherald wanted to show Taylor’s past using her expression and dress while also showing things she will never get to experience, such as an engagement ring on her hand.
Sherald called the portrait a contribution to the moment and to activism.