Charzette Torrence was one of nine female photographers who won the Firecracker 2020 Covid-19 Grant which is based in the UK for her series “Prevalent” which is a gamechanger for social justice art. Charzette identifies as an LGBTQIA artist and a native Detroiter who resides in New York.
Prevalent is a mixed media photographic series that presents a powerful, beautiful, raw, and truthful look at what has been going on for far too long in our society. Issues of systemic racism, police brutality, poverty, equal pay, and so much more as that which was spark by the brutal killing of George Floyd. Charzette’s artwork takes part in the current dramatic, worldwide change of the #BlackLivesMatter movement through her mixed media photograph series.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is instantly changing all of the racial bias that we as African American artists, as well, have endured in the art world culture for years. Charzette feels the art world culture needs to instantly open up opportunities for black female artist and curators. She would like the art world and collectors to embrace more social justice art like hers.
Prevalent was shown at Art Basel in 2018 and 2019, and the audience was actively engaged in every conversation with the artist about the issues in Prevalent, and were interested in how to participate in making a change in their community. Because Prevalent encourages the audience to interact emotionally, truthfully and to reflect on what’s happening in our world. Charzette feels you can make a difference by first being honest with your own actions and reflecting on how you can make a personal positive change for the future.
One day she hopes to exhibit with a symposium for the community and sell each piece and donate a percentage of the proceeds to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The Prevalent series are custom made diptych frames and takes two to three months to complete. They are 46 x 21 inches which grabs the viewer attention and have them thinking and talking about the issue. What impact does this information have on us and our environment? Where do we go from here? What is the change needed in the art world and our society? Because #BlackArtistMatters.