Bodies for the economy #3 & #4

Julio Alejandro & Danielle Cunningham

Bodies for the economy #3 & #4

Regular price $300 Unit price  per 

Julio Alejandro & Danielle Cunningham

Bodies of the Economy #3 & #4

Acrylic, marker, teine, metal leaf, and pen on paper

19" x 24" each

 

In the Bodies for the Economy series, the artists pair figural imagery with professional sports logos and the bright colors typical of sports teams’ uniforms to call attention to racial inequality within professional sports. Connecting racism to capitalism, the artists remind the viewer that although players entertain us, they also sacrifice their physical well-being to make the rich even richer. Further, these works express the artists’ solidarity with individual activist athletes like Colin Kaepernick, Lebron James, Bubba Wallace and others, and their admiration for the athletes’ triumphant humanity.

 

Historically reliant on the labor of marginalized people to increase the capital of mostly rich white, ablebodied men, capitalism underpins all systems and institutions, including professional athletics. Though the mostly black players of the NFL and NBA generate millions of dollars for mostly white owners in what is effectively a form of neo-slavery, they have little agency concerning their public appearance. In fact, whenever players have attempted to express their opinions, not only have they been scrutinized by the public, told to “shut up and dribble,” but threatened with termination and barred by owners from leagues entirely.[1] Recently Bubba Wallace, the only black NASCAR driver, even experienced hate speech after aligning himself with the Black Lives Matter movement, when a noose was placed in his stall. For all that professional athletes sacrifice, they should at least be permitted to exercise their right to free speech without fear of retaliation and censure by those same elites whom they have made rich. These artworks illustrate, memorialize, and uphold the importance of antiracist actions and free speech in general, and the undeniable significance of these ideas to a free society.

 


[1] Laura Ingraham, “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Fox News, February 2018.