Artist Marilyn Minter Has Teamed Up With the ACLU to Create a $400 Original Print to Benefit Its Racial Justice Program

"Everyone thinks they can’t do anything because they’re all alone," Minter said. "This is the lie—everyone can do something."

Marilyn Minter, Justice Now (2020). Image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

“Everyone has to do something, right?” artist and activist Marilyn Minter asked Artnet News by phone earlier this week. “If you’re not doing something, you’re asleep.”

For her latest “something,” the politically engaged artist has created a brand new print to benefit the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. The image features a figure behind frozen glass, lit partly in day-glo pink and red, with the words “Justice Now!” emblazoned in capital letters.

It goes on sale today via Exhibition A, an online platform that collaborates with contemporary artists to create editions of work at accessible prices. A signed archival pigment print in an edition of 300, each is priced at $400.

Asked how the project came about, Minter had a simple answer: “George Floyd.”

Instead of feeling powerless and angry about police brutality, racial injustice, and the many other ills plaguing society, Minter insists that everyone can take action, even if their action might seem small.

“Everyone thinks they can’t do anything because they’re all alone. This is the lie—everyone can do something,” she said. “Get one friend of yours to go and volunteer at the polls if you’re young. Or you could be in the election headquarters where you vote to make sure nothing nefarious happens. Artists can raise money. I’m just hoping that can be a contribution.”

The lockdown has largely prevented Minter from photographing her typical subjects. But when her assistant, an artist name Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, agreed to pose, she got to work. The owner of Exhibition A, Brendan Carney, a former student of Minter’s, produced the edition at cost. All of the net proceeds, equivalent to 88 percent of the purchase price, will be donated to the ACLU.

Marilyn Minter's Resist flag. Courtesy of Marilyn Minter/Creative Time.

Marilyn Minter’s Resist flag. Courtesy of Marilyn Minter/Creative Time.

Minter is no stranger to using her skills for political causes. In 2017, she and and art historian Andrianna Campbell teamed up to create a resistance-themed pop-up gift shop at the Brooklyn Museum and, in 2016, Minter collaborated with Miley Cyrus on portraits to raise money for Planned Parenthood. Minter is also participating in Choiceworks at Sotheby’s this September, an online art auction to benefit Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

“Everyone is donating,” Minter said of the latest initiative. “People do recognize injustice, and they can do something about it.”

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