Art of the Week: 6 Black artists to follow on Instagram

By Gillian Ramirez, Alliance Intern from UC San Diego

To kick off Black History Month, we wanted to spotlight a Black artists to follow on Instagram. Social media makes it easy to view beautiful and inspiring artwork daily so look out for these creative minds. 

@dorcascreates Dorcas Magbadelo is an illustrator whose vibrant and colorful art aims to center and celebrate Black women. Her online shop has art prints, jewelry, and greeting cards. Her Nigerian heritage influences her art with colors that pop and create eye-catching patterns. (top left)

@kadirnelson Kadir Nelson is an accomplished artist, who has artwork in notable locations like the US House of Representatives, the World Trade Center, and the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. He has worked with notable clients like National Geographic, Nike, HBO, and Drake. His artwork focuses on historical narratives and heroic subjects in American culture done in a modern urban realistic style. (top middle)

@jekein Jekein Lato-Unah, a multi-talented artist, is a young creative born and raised in Nigeria. Formally trained in pottery, painting and performance art, she is currently studying Law at the Univ. of Lagos. A feminist, humanitarian and activist, Jekein’s paintings “celebrate women, frown upon the oppression of marginalized groups, objectification of women and speak on social constructs.” 

@lalucien Lyne Lucien, a Brooklyn-based artist, is an illustrator whose work focuses on community and draws inspiration from her upbringings in Haiti. Currently working at Instagram as a creative producer, she aims to “diversity how we define design in different spaces and amplifying bipoc voices.” She has collaborated with Google, Tripadvisor and Facebook, illustrating a variety of projects from podcast art to tech campaigns.

@charlylpalmer Charly Palmer’s art is unlike any other, likely stemming from the 30+ years under his belt. His paintings “bear witness of African ancestry and contemporary experiences”, every work demonstrating “intrinsic beauty and strength of Blackness.” Producing nearly 50 paintings annually, Palmer his art has touched the lives of many. In 2020, he illustrated the cover art for John Legend’s Grammy Award-winning studio album “Bigger Love” and created the July cover for Time Magazine’s “America Must Change” issue. 

@caleblee81 Robert Peterson is widely celebrated as a new artist and sought after by many for a commissioned piece, after picking up painting for the first time at 30 years old after a life altering experience. With artwork owned by Floyd Mayweather, Diddy, Alicia Keys, and Kevin Durant, he has many well-known fans. He won the 2016 award of “Artist of the year for Southwestern Oklahoma”, the first African-American in the state’s history to hold the title. 

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