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Black Women Are Photoshopping Themselves Into Art as a Statement on Cultural Erasure

Avatar • Aug 18, 2015

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;

http://sensitiveblackperson.tumblr.com/post/120071204444

http://sensitiveblackperson.tumblr.com/post/120071204444

http://sensitiveblackperson.tumblr.com/post/120071204444

http://sensitiveblackperson.tumblr.com/post/120071204444

http://2jam4u.tumblr.com/post/118714497367/west-indian-art-heux-north-american-co-president

http://2jam4u.tumblr.com/post/118714497367/west-indian-art-heux-north-american-co-president

http://2jam4u.tumblr.com/post/118714497367/west-indian-art-heux-north-american-co-president

http://2jam4u.tumblr.com/post/118714497367/west-indian-art-heux-north-american-co-president

http://peachedcheeks.tumblr.com/post/125442120748#

http://peachedcheeks.tumblr.com/post/125442120748#

http://peachedcheeks.tumblr.com/post/125442120748#

http://peachedcheeks.tumblr.com/post/125442120748#

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://sixalien.tumblr.com/post/125032118728/sixalien-feat-keith

http://saekc.tumblr.com/post/124454089280/a-series-of-fine-art-featuring-paintings-inspired

http://saekc.tumblr.com/post/124454089280/a‑series-of-fine-art-featuring-paintings-inspired

http://saekc.tumblr.com/post/124454089280/a-series-of-fine-art-featuring-paintings-inspired

http://saekc.tumblr.com/post/124454089280/a‑series-of-fine-art-featuring-paintings-inspired

http://saekc.tumblr.com/post/124454089280/a-series-of-fine-art-featuring-paintings-inspired

http://saekc.tumblr.com/post/124454089280/a‑series-of-fine-art-featuring-paintings-inspired

http://lanizoe.tumblr.com/post/122632251325/part-3

http://lanizoe.tumblr.com/post/122632251325/part‑3

http://greeneuphorias.tumblr.com/post/122272798542/boxer-rebellion-1983-hollywood-africans-1983

http://greeneuphorias.tumblr.com/post/122272798542/boxer-rebellion-1983-hollywood-africans-1983

http://sagethemermaidd.tumblr.com/post/118056850853/sagethemermaidd-my-vvpg-aesthetic
http://afrospection.tumblr.com/post/120852989989/tries-to-be-cool-makes-a-billion-edits-inspired
http://enoarem.tumblr.com/post/117542327529/because-burntpicasso-is-goals

http://kharrot.tumblr.com/post/126262665864/multiplyin

http://basedqueer.tumblr.com/post/126843391133/serving-looks-from-the-colorblock-dimension
http://afrihkan.tumblr.com/post/125990387801/am-i-an-arthoe-yet-2jam4u

http://afrihkan.tumblr.com/post/125990387801/am-i-an-arthoe-yet-2jam4u

http://afrihkan.tumblr.com/post/125990387801/am-i-an-arthoe-yet-2jam4u

http://afrihkan.tumblr.com/post/125990387801/am-i-an-arthoe-yet-2jam4u

http://afrihkan.tumblr.com/post/125990387801/am-i-an-arthoe-yet-2jam4u

http://afrihkan.tumblr.com/post/125990387801/am-i-an-arthoe-yet-2jam4u

http://0nce-but-n3ver.tumblr.com/post/126055251587/i‑wanted-to-see-how-i-looked-with-flower

http://sainte-leone.tumblr.com/post/123787901661/i‑will-not-run-from-the-sun

Even Amandla Sternberg has spoken in support of the movement

http://amandla.tumblr.com/post/119778740603/im-like-hey-whats-up-hello

…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.

http://cracks-in-the-teacups.tumblr.com/post/121204261915/just-going-to-take-a-second-here-to-address

http://graph-scum.tumblr.com/post/126732815251/poc-please-reclaim-the-art-hoe-movement

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?

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Girl Bye!
Girl Bye!
5 years ago

I love its! ‑might have to do me one lol- Black people are so creative and always setting trends…

lis
lis
5 years ago

Wait…Black women referring to themselves as # hoe or # heaux anything…you just lost me…whatever you were trying to say…even if it was profound.….and the photos just look amateur and poorly thought out…

Jay
Jay
4 years ago
Reply to  lis

So true

The Darling Kinkshamer
The Darling Kinkshamer
5 years ago
Reply to  lis

Agreed, it’s not even cute ironically.

Daniella Desewu
Daniella Desewu
5 years ago

I don’t get it

Dana
Dana
5 years ago

This seems to me to be more about making interesting selfies than making a statement about the invisibility of people of color. It seems like most of them put very little thought into the composition of the pieces and instead just used their faces to cover everything interesting about the piece. I think this could be done well if more effort was put into it.

Cutabello
Cutabello
4 years ago

I personally don’t get this.

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
5 years ago

I really like and support it. I think self expression is good for the mind and body. Who cares what the haters have to say? They don’t represent you and you don’t represent them.

Lele215
5 years ago

There comes a point in every woman’s life that she begins to accept that she is truly middle-aged. The arthoe movement is one of those signposts that indicates that I’m moving towards my golden years. I truly don’t understand this. Why? What’s the point? Why do you have to be a part of everything? Why does everything have to be inclusive? Part of the beauty of art is that it is a reflection of the artist’s experience. How does photoshopping yourself into someone’s art (life experience) affirm your existence.

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