Visions of Liberation
In honor of Black History Month, gc2b proudly presented our fifth capsule collection, “Beyond The Gallery: Visions of Liberation”. Developed with the intention of cultivating and uplifting community, this capsule highlighted the importance of radical artistic expression by elevating the works of 5 Black queer & trans creatives practicing different art mediums.
In our previous capsule collections, Marli Washington (Founder, CEO, & Designer) created his own designs & used the gc2b platform to raise money benefitting various organizations. This time, we are pivoting to using our platform to further growing artists’ reach and visibility, while celebrating the brilliance of Black creatives making waves in the visual arts. We know that art is not only a form of creative expression, but it is a radical act—one that is critical to all movements fighting for liberation, equity, and justice. As a Black/Latinx trans-owned business, this capsule deepens our contribution and commitment to this mission.
100% of proceeds from “Beyond the Gallery” were given directly to each artist featured in the capsule. Additionally, gc2b donated $1.50 for each unit sold to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts Collective (BTFA)—a community based arts organization dedicated to centering and supporting Black trans femme artists.
Ashton Attzs is a 22 year old queer, mixed race, UK artist. Attzs’ paintings and digital illustrations are a vehicle to empower and celebrate the everyday person. Creating a quotidian utopia in dreamy blues, and cotton-candy pinks, popping against charmingly distinctive, racially and gender-diverse animated characters. Attzs’ work is bold, joyful and unapologetic both in style and message.
Commissioned by the likes of Instagram, Tate, Footlocker, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Adidas, Stylist Magazine, Disney and Universal Music. In 2018, Attzs won the coveted Evening Standard Art Prize: for their painting of transgender swimmers, 'Don’t Stay In Ya Lane'.
CHIAMAKA STUDIOS BY JESSICA UDEH
"My practice is mixed/multimedia with a focus on collaging and sound-scaping. Primarily, my work is a reiteration of thoughts & dreams merging West African & American pop-culture that explore identity, sexuality, politics, and the discourse between the three as they relate to my cultural background. All of the selected works explore Black sovereignty over body, mind, and spirit as well as synchronicity across the diaspora. The design titled "Dorothy" juxtaposes Dorothy Dandrige and Fela Kuti - 2 prominent Black artists born on opposite ends of the earth in search of the same thing, freedom through creation. Both are pioneers in their own right, and the *first* of many Black artists to be acknowledged for their contributions on a grand scale across the diaspora. "Shrine" touches on vanity as self-care, the consumption and deconstruction of the "female" body, and the white gaze; each character in the piece is looking elsewhere, nobody is looking at Marsha but she's looking at you. "YSL" is an image that balances tenderness, intimacy, and community, with the autonomy of an individual."
ggggrimes is a 25 year old Black queer artist from the Bronx, NY now based in Philadelphia, PA. Their work portrays queer people of color living happy, beautiful, and sexy lives. ggggrimes’ artwork shows joyous and free worlds that every queer deserves.
"My art is an expression and exploration of my black and trans identities in a surreal way. I draw influences from my friends and loved ones as they are incorporated in some way into all of my pieces in some way. I work with mostly oil paint on medium sized canvas although some of my early work is acrylic on paper. I enjoy painting contrasting colors together and dark values to give a sort of moody feeling to my work."
FEMMEPRINTS BY MC CAREY
Maya “MC” Carey (they/them) is a Black, biracial, fat, queer and non-binary printmaker living and creating on stolen Piscataway-Conoy tribal land, aka Baltimore, MD. After graduating college in 2018 and taking two intaglio style based printmaking courses, MC ventured into block printing as a way to continue the craft at an accessible level. While working full-time, as a survivor, within the gender-based violence field, MC needed to find ways to cope and mend while working in such an intense yet deeply necessary field. Linoleum block printing became their medium of choice and soon after they started their art brand, Femme Prints, in 2019. As a mostly self-taught printmaker who found much of their gravitation towards Printmaking because of the medium’s powerful foundation in radical information sharing in movement spaces, as well as their printmaking practice’s helpfulness in healing, MC found that exploring the self and identity through printmaking was very much important. Using art as a tool of self-expression and healing is integral to MC’s process as well as creating with much intention around healing, natural symbolism, and identity. From the symbolism of Blue Herons to imagery around what it means to have a body as a fat, Black, and queer person, MC strives to make art that is as much healing for themselves as it is for the audience. MC hopes to continue with their craft and dive deeper into the imagery around survivorship, revolution,and oppression that partners well with their full-time work in the gender-based violence prevention field.
"I am a healer at heart, and then an artist. I find that I cannot separate the two no matter how hard I try. Once I graduated college and seriously began my practice with printmaking I began to understand it’s true possibility: both medicine for my soul and medicine for others. With my art, I hope to bring important messages, symbolism, and lessons I have learned on my way towards my higher self. From my own reflections on bodies, fatness, Blackness and queerness to reflections on what it means to find heart medicine in nature through the Great Blue Heron, I have learned to see my creation as deeply medicinal and powerful for my own success. When I create, I am able to engage in parts of myself that weren’t always accessible, and for me that is power.
I carve linoleum block prints, humbly, on the kitchen table, basement floor, in my neighborhood park, etc... wherever my medicine seems to thrive in that moment. Though printmaking is a very technical art form, I love the process of making when and where my body needs me to. Bringing in that authentic touch of imperfection is how I weave my soul through each piece created. Oftentimes it is the emotional drive to release that helps to make my art so special. With art creation that is ingrained with healing, sometimes my only urge to create is when it is a mechanism for relief. I believe that through creating, one can both learn to heal and embrace a deeper and more genuine part of the soul.
Currently, I am working on projects that explore deeper messages around my own identity and the work I do with survivors, namely Black women survivors. It was the murder of 19 year old Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salu in June 2020 that really started the idea for this next project. Black women and femmes are relegated to tired stereotypes of angry, unworldly strength, and hyper sexualization without any consent. I want to explore the roles power, control, and oppression play in the narrative of Black femmes, survivors and victims and engage in the Say Her/Their Name project through printmaking. There are too many unknown women and femmes who have lost their lives to violence, without justice and without care. A project like this allows me honor their lives and demand better for them and survivors like them who are facing violence. I hope to explore themes of vulnerability, power, and self through this upcoming project as well as dive deep into my own personal healing from violence as a Black femme."