I was invited by Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito to create a 6 meter mural to illustrate his sonic and spoken word installation "No One Gives A Mosquito's Ass About Trabalho De Preto".
"Preto" is a Portuguese term to depreciatively name people from African descent (I would say it's not as bad as the English N word, but it's demeaning). The expression "Trabalho de Preto" is used frequently to describe menial work or hard labour, a remnant of colonial times. With his piece Nástio wanted to reflect on how we are all in some way explored by someone else, and how as an African he sees the term "Preto" describing a socio-economic condition rather than just a racial one. In this way, "Preto" can be a unifying concept, applied to everyone at some point, independent of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age.
The mural is a tapestry of modern types of exploration and oppression. From left to right: death burning a ballot box, its skull shaped like a KKK hood; man with health sensors connected to a descending financial chart, combing his daughter; naked mother ironing the man's sleeve while daughter looks at her, her future; daughter dressing little brother; little brother sewing a sleeve, a symbol of child labor; automatic cars with people inside looking at cellphones/masturbating, driven by Big Tech; sewing machine gun needle printing smiley faces; windmills as doomsday clocks; Mickey Mouse's ears as blueprint for a cowboy hat, worn by a figure with a target as his face, his arm ready to shoot up (America's gun and opioid problems); Mickey's gloves a remnant of the minstrel depictions; cowboy holding a noose around a cleaning woman's neck; man licking a cellphone like a dog.
This installation occupied a room for a couple of months at Hangar gallery, in 2019. The mural was painted by a team led by street artist RAPS.