Hank Willis Thomas, Barbara Kruger and Juliana Huxtable design bandanas for voting campaign
Artists Band Together references the history of bandanas as symbols of unity, releasing 15 designs by world-renowned artists to raise funds for community-led voter registration groups.
- Jenny Brewer
- 18 August 2020
- Reading Time
- 2 minute read
World-renowned artists including Barbara Kruger, Hank Willis Thomas, Juliana Huxtable, Shepard Fairey, Jenny Holzer, Christine Sun Kim, Alex Israel and the late Luchita Hurtado have designed bandanas for a campaign encouraging voter registration in the US. The Artists Band Together initiative is releasing the collection of 15 bandana designs to raise funds for community-led voter registration groups Rise, Mijente and Woke Vote, ahead of the upcoming deadline. According to the project’s co-curator Nora Halpern, the decision to create bandanas is rooted in the garment’s history as a symbol of unity.
“From the abolitionist movement to Rosie the Riveter, bandanas have been wearable markers of alliance and action,” Halpern says in a statement. “By bringing together long-time artist changemakers, our goal is to celebrate and elevate the myriad voices that make up American voters.”
The contributors also include Rirkrit Tiravanija, Umar Rashid, Christina Quarles, Marilyn Minter, Victoria Cassinova, Xavier Schipani and Merritt Johnson.
The designs range from illustrative, such as Umar Rashid’s Harmony and Alex Israel’s Blue Wave, to typographic, such as the white-on-black statement Allies Matter by Hank Willis Thomas For Freedoms. Kruger’s Untitled (Flag) replaces the stripes of the American flag with her signature questions, for example, “Who is beyond the law,” and the stars with the statement “Look for the moment when pride becomes contempt.” Kruger and Holzer also contributed designs to Wedel Art Collective’s face mask collection, launched last week to raise money for Covid-19 charities.
Before her passing, artist Luchita Hurtado said of her design Together Forever: that the title “is a slogan of our time that confronts racial inequality, environmental advocacy, and united survival during a global pandemic, all in just two words. I don't think there’s anything more important, that’s what the human race needs.”
Artist Shepard Fairey, whose wife, film producer Amanda Fairey, is also a co-curator together with Halpern, Jill Goldman, Asti Hustvedt and Victoria Kennedy, says of the project: “I believe in the Artists Band Together project because I think we all can make the country better, and that art and the humanitarian spirit of artists can play a valuable role in doing so.”
The bandanas are available on the eBay for Charity platform, half released yesterday and the rest to be released on 1 September, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the voter registration groups.
GalleryArtists Band Together
Hank Willis Thomas for Freedoms: Allies Matter (copyright the artist and Artists Band Together)