A colorful collection of black empowerment
Recently, Markus Prime hosted an pop up art event at Studio 301 in Brooklyn. Markus Prime’s Kick Back Party featured live drawings, good food, music, and a lively crowd of people. The food at the event was the classic combo of chicken and waffles and also some tasty beer. Markus Prime is known for his new school style of cartoon drawings and this collection showcased his talents. His work was inspired by the #blacklivesmatter movement; specifically the incident when the police officer attacked a 15 year old black girl. So a lot of his work shows black women as superheroes. One of the most impactful pieces that play into this theme is a black superhero who is fighting a pig-like creature which is dressed up in a police officer’s uniform. His collection “Markus Prime Lives” is a strong collection that is beautifully drawn, vibrant, and impactful. And to top this event off, Markus Prime showcased his artistic skills with a live drawing that he typically does during his Kick Back Party. The picture he drew live was incredible and played well into Prime’s already established artistic aesthetic.
- What was the inspiration for your collection?
The inspiration for my recent collection has really been an ongoing thing for about the last 6 months. I’ve more so been focusing on the “hero” factor for women of color.
- This isn’t your first time hosting a gallery while doing a live drawing. Talk about what it was like doing this live drawing compared to past years and what significance this new drawing has.
This was more intimate. In my last two major events I was on a stage painting a live model. It was more intense at those times because I had to be a lot more focused and didn’t really get to interact with the audience like I wanted to. This time I could truly be at eye level with everyone and relax.
- Your collection had a lot of new school artistry with very dynamic, superhero characters. Can you talk about why you chose this route?
I believe very strongly in the aspect of “representation” for people of color. It’s a very upsetting feeling to realize we are in the year 2015/16 and it’s still a struggle to find powerful heroes of color in the media. I am trying to contribute to the collective solution instead of continuing to complain about the problem. That’s my biggest motivation right now.
- You have done a lot of work that was inspired by the #blacklivesmatter movement. Can you talk about this collection and how it might tie in with that?
#blacklivesmatter ties into pretty much everything I do now. In a country where we are seemingly less and less important, I feel like my work is crucial in making sure we are always portrayed in a significant role. Always. Positions of power. Sexual and political empowerment.
- Is there a certain message you want to communicate with people through your art?
The message I want to communicate is that “you can do it too.” I am simply a man who wanted to share my vision with the world and stepped out on faith.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
Quite a bit. Working on some big projects, really looking to expand and make a solid footprint in the game. As of right now I’m working my first book. A collection of drawings focused on the black woman as superhero, seeing classic characters as women of color. That’s early 2016! Very excited.
Lead Photo Credit: CocoDandridge