That is what the artist Charles Key, who signs his work JamersonSGC and also Low Key Art, called this work in an Instagram post. It is of course portraits of four African-Americans killed by police. Two are known world-wide, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The other two men, on the left and right of Floyd, respectively, are Jocques Clemmons and Daniel Hambrick, both killed by officers of the MNPD. Strikingly, Taylor is draped with crime scene tape in a way that suggests a beauty queen’s sash.
Key created this mural back in June, painting over a previous mural of his which I featured in The full bee (an update). It is both coincidence and not that I am posting this only now, just after the outcome of the grand jury investigation of the death of Breonna Taylor, which resulted in protests around the country, including Nashville. I finally got a chance to photograph it very recently, and the timing seemed appropriate.
Key told WSMV (Channel 4), “Some people march. I paint murals.” He has certainly been doing a lot of that recently, with murals of John Lewis, Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), and former Titan’s quarterback Steve McNair, among others. Key also talked to WTVF (Channel 5) about this mural, and you can see some of his other work there. The reality is I’m way behind on posting all of his work.
The location of this art is significant. It’s a grocery store across from the J.C. Napier homes, a large housing project whose residents are primarily African-American. But Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store has been closed for a couple of years, and neighborhood residents no longer have a grocery store they can walk to, and have to go much farther to get groceries. The building is for lease, so perhaps some new owner will put in a grocery store in the future.
Located at 109 Lafayette Street, between Wharf Avenue/Charles E Davis Boulevard and Claiborne Street. The former grocery store has a large parking lot. (Look carefully at the photo below and you can see my red Honda Fit!) The mural faces Lafayette.