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kottke.org posts about Adrian Brandon

Stolen: Unfinished Portraits of Black People Killed By Police Officers

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 08, 2020

Adrian Brandon’s Stolen is a series of portraits of Black people who have been killed by police officers. He colors each portrait in for as long as the person was alive: 1 minute of coloring for each year of their life. (From top to bottom: Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown.)

Adrian Brandon Stolen

Adrian Brandon Stolen

Adrian Brandon Stolen

Tamir Rice was 12 when he was murdered, so I colored his portrait for 12 minutes. As a person of color, I know that my future can be stolen from me if I’m driving with a broken taillight, or playing my music too loud, or reaching for my phone at the wrong time. So for each of these portraits I played with the harsh relationship between time and death. I want the viewer to see how much empty space is left in these lives, stories that will never be told, space that can never be filled. This emptiness represents holes in their families and our community, who will be forever stuck with the question, “who were they becoming?”

Brandon is revisiting this series on Instagram with portraits of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. Here’s a time lapse video of the creation of Taylor’s portrait.