Many black women struggle with invisibility and erasure. We heavily influence the culture around us but don’t see images of ourselves reflected back to us. The #ArtHoe (sometimes referred to as #artheaux) movement is a statement on that erasure and a way for black women to express themselves, assert themselves and self-define.
#ArtHoe participants take selfies and edit them into art pieces, both popular and obscure. The movement was started by Rookie Mag contributor Mars (@sensitiveblackperson) and 2jam4u. In a Tumblr post, Mars explained the origins of the movement;
It was created by 2jam4u and myself to present an exposure to POC so that they can feel self assured. Especially when we coincide in a society that eradicates the identity of POC and dehumanizes us for tedious notions. The movement was proposed for artists , LGBTQA, POC, and basically everyone who wanted to feel empowered…
Basically when we created this movement we wanted to eradicate the stereotypes POC have to endure.
Such as how Black people can’t be delicate, Latinx people are naturally feisty and a “thot”, the generalization of Asians , and so on…
I love how with the movement Jam and I created a lot of POC are more profound and acknowledging of their culture. That they feel they don’t have to hide as much anymore because there are people telling them to be content and delighted with their heritage.
We get to explore new genres and artwork not just by white self proclaimed artists but by POC as well
Check out these #ArtHoe posts;
Even Amandla Sternberg has spoken in support of the movement
…and of course like many things created by women of color, the aesthetic is often co-opted and stripped of it’s original meaning for consumption by the masses. Articles have reduced the movement to a subculture of anyone who owns a Kanken backpack, birkenstocks and expensive markers.
We’re definitely supporting the “art hoe/art heaux” movement in its efforts to push for creative agency to the underrepresented people of color.
What are some of the ways you express yourself? Has your creative expression been excluded from the mainstream art world?