HELL'S KITCHEN — A 12-foot portrait of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, along with cardboard portraits of Akai Gurley, Kimani Gray and others killed by police will soon be on display at a Hell's Kitchen gallery event Wednesday.
Fay Chiang, 63, an artist and activist from the East Village, has drawn more than sixty such portraits over more than ten years, she said.
"I think people need to see the faces of these young people," she said. "Later on, the parents would ask me, 'Could you make a portrait of my child?'"
On Wednesday March 18, she will display some of her portraits in an event at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, located at 323 W. 39th St. Family members of those commemorated will speak at the event, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the EFA Project Space's second floor gallery.
Chiang is a member of the Stolen Lives Project, which has been documenting the names of Americans killed by law enforcement officials for over a decade. After a police-related death, the Project contacts family members, and Chiang offers her services as portraitist. The cardboard drawings are used at protests.
She said that police brutality was far too prevalent, despite police officials saying otherwise.
Community and police relations are in crisis, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told a symposium last Friday.
"I feel I can't keep up with the number of portraits I'm being asked to make," she said.