Barbara Bullock, Trayvon Martin, Most Precious Blood
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old African American, was shot and killed in a gated community in Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Martin’s death sparked protests across the United States and calls for Zimmerman’s arrest. Zimmerman was brought to trial and acquitted on the grounds of self-defense.
Bullock created Trayvon Martin, Most Precious Blood as she watched the trial play out on television. She was enraged, but unsurprised, that the judicial system found Zimmerman’s lethal actions justified. The work mourns Martin’s murder and commemorates the wrongful deaths of generations of African Americans.
Made of acrylic paint and watercolor paper, this collage is an abstract depiction of Martin’s wounded body. Ribboned and folded red and dark green paper suggest the teen’s blood and skin. Vestiges of a hand and foot are discernable at the center-left of the composition. The title and prominent use of red reference the Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church, which Bullock attended as a child, as well as Christ’s sacrifice for mankind.
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