Black Artists Are Struggling To Get By Even As Demand Grows

painting of three women sitting around  a table
Via Flickr
Alyssa Guznik
January 17, 2023

Art in all of its forms has always been a vital part of Black culture. It's provided our people with a means of expression, hope, and history. However, there are issues to be addressed within the community when it comes to money.

Black art's popularity has skyrocketed in the past two decades. Sales from Black artists have reached over $2.2 billion since 2018, but there's still a massive gap in how many Black pieces are acknowledged and sold in the art world.

Of the billions sold, 77% of that art belongs to Jean-Michel Basquiat. If he isn't factored in, a mere $460 million or $0.26 of the global auction market is made up of African American artists.

Countless, incredibly talented black artists are removed from the conversation.

Museums, galleries, and the wealthy white elite want our culture but not us. They block our artistic and financial growth. Artists like Jordan Casteel, Kara Walker, and Kehinde Wiley should thrive.

Black culture is robust, and Black artists depict it in heartbreaking and breathtaking ways. However, they struggle to benefit from this expression financially. Art may not be everyone's bag, but it's important to know what's happening across Black culture and find ways to support Blackness in all its forms.

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