Art Stolen, the incomplete illustrations by Adrian Brandon

Stolen, the incomplete illustrations by Adrian Brandon

Giulia Guido

Adrian Brandon illustrates the weather. The time that has been stolen from many people. The little time these people have lived and the long time they will never live. 

Originally from Seattle, but based in Brooklyn, Adrian Brandon is an American artist and illustrator who has always fought a battle that has never been more current through his art. Adrian fights for equality between blacks and whites and does so with brushstrokes, color spots, and pencil sketches with which he shows the world aspects of black culture. 

After George Floyd’s murder, Adrian used his illustrations not only to tell the injustices and abuses black people to suffer every day but also to honor and pay homage to the tens and hundreds of lives that are no longer there. 

Stolen, this is the title of his latest project, a series of portraits of some black people unjustly killed by the police. The particularity of these illustrations is that they are all unfinished, and the reason is precisely what makes them extremely important, real testimonies. Before starting each artwork, Adrian Brandon sets a timer and the number of minutes he will dedicate to the portrait corresponds to the number of years the person represented had when she was killed. 

46 minutes for George Floyd, 26 minutes for Breonna Taylor, 38 minutes for Tony McDade, only 7 minutes for little Aiyana Stanley Jones. 

The production of the illustrations turns into a performance, a moment in which Adrian Brandon feels the anxiety of time passing, of time that he already knows is not enough to finish the work, the same anxiety with which many people have now learned to live with.  

Like their lives, the portraits will forever remain incomplete. 

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Written by Giulia Guido
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