Sculptures of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are up for auction this month to benefit charities founded in their honor. Both Floyd and Taylor were victims of police brutality last year and sparked a national, and arguably worldwide, social justice movement last summer.
According to ABC 7 , Sotheby’s, a New York auction house, and Confront Art are partnering for the auction with proceeds going to both We Are Floyd and the Breonna Taylor Foundation, each set up by their families.
“I think it’s very important that we as artists to create work that, speak about actions,” said LÁOLÚ NYC, according to ABC 7. LÁOLÚ NYC partnered with artist Chris Carnabucci, who sculpted both busts, to cover the Breonna Taylor bust with designs. “I’m a Black person live in America. And I mean, this reality is not far-fetched. It’s something that I’ve experienced, you know, I’ve experienced racism and he has all sorts of things, you know, that deals with it and the repercussions of it so, I mean, if I didn’t make art about it, then what am I doing.”
The sculptures will be offered for sale at the online auction Dec 9-17 after their public exhibition in New York City earlier this year. The George Floyd bust, unveiled during the summer as part of the SEEINJUSTICE art installation, was vandalized twice in two separate New York locations. It was cleaned and restored before the auction.
Floyd, who died in May 2020 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over nine minutes during an arrest, became the face of a movement challenging police brutality and bias in the U.S. criminal justice system. The officer was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Taylor was shot and killed when armed police stormed her Kentucky apartment in March 2020. None of the officers has been charged with her death.
Sotheby’s in New York said the 6 ft (1.8 meter) tall bronze painted sculpture of the head of Floyd was expected to fetch $100,000-$150,000.
The Taylor work is of a smaller scale at less than 4 ft (1.2 meter) tall. It has been re-envisioned from the original bronze finish with black and white body art created by the Nigerian-bred performance artist Laolu. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$30,000.
“Their memory has helped to fuel the international social justice movement combating the systemic racism that still rages, sometimes with deadly consequences, in America,” said Harrison Tenzer, Sotheby’s Head of Digital Strategy for Auctions, according to ABC 7.