Patrick McMullan Archives

Source: Patrick McMullan / Getty

There are so many reasons to create, but the best creations are the ones that inspire positive change. These are artists who make moves, innovate, and build on the ways in which we interpret the world around us. When all seems bleak and dull around us, these are the visionaries that give us hope.

Check out some of CASSIUS‘ favorite visual artists down below.

Myles Loftin

This bold young photographer is already making strong statements with his art. One of his latest projects, HOODED, “humanizes and decriminalizes the societal images of Black boys and Black men in hoodies.”

View this post on Instagram

For my final project in Time I created a multimedia project that humanizes and decriminalizes the societal image of black boys and black men dressed in hoodies. The media has always put a negative light on black men in hoodies and even when you google “black boy hoodie” you get images of criminals while the search “white boy hoodie” produces cookie cutter stock photos of white teenagers smiling. I photographed four black teens/men and portrayed them in a positive light that is in direct contrast of the media representation that has oppressed us. The final product is a series of photographs, screenshots and a film that attempts to shift perception. Society’s standards placed against black males need to be erased because they are extremely harmful and divisive. It contributes to the reason black males are targeted more by police, why we receive longer jail sentences than our white counterparts and the discrimination that we receive. This project seeks to understand where these negative portrayals come from, and how we can change them for a better future. Also, by reversing the portrayals of black and white males this project seeks to understand how the perception of both will change depending on how they are depicted. The project consists of a series of photographs, screenshots and a short video. The photographs and video were done in studio. I used color as a way to show positivity and negativity, also to amplify the contrast between the images created, and those disseminated by the media. For the photographs and video footage I use vibrant colors (pink, blue, yellow, red). The screenshots included are of google image search results for the terms black teen in hoodie, white teen in hoodie, four black teens, and four white teens. In the film I directed I combined moving images with found audio from videos on the internet of politicians, news reports and other sources regarding black males, and black hooded males.

A post shared by Myles Loftin Photography (@mylesloftin) on

Titus Kaphar

Kaphar addresses erasure of Black folks in traditional artwork by altering paintings and sculptures of prominent figures from American and European history. Within his work, he reimagines African Americans and other marginalized subjects as heroes.

Johanna Toruño

This Salvadorian street artist uses her own words to emphasize her visual art, which is created for “POC by POC.” She speaks out on topics such as intersectional feminism, sexuality, immigration, and police brutality.

Chella Man

Man’s identity as an Asian Deaf Trans artist shapes his work as he focuses his paintings and drawings around sexuality, body dysmorphia and ability.

Joyce J. Scott

This Baltimore native uses glass and beadwork to create art around the topics of race, domestic violence, and gun violence.

×