Banksy Fire Sale Art Event

This time sensitive article is about a Banksy sales event. From now until August 31st, in remembrance of Black August, the one and only Billboard Banksy will be graciously taking 96% off his iconic 2016 work Black August – Los Angeles.

96 years ago in 1926, the father of African-American history, Carter G. Woodson, successfully launched Negro History Week. In 1976, President Gerald Ford declared Negro History Week to be Black History Month. Twenty-years later in 1996, President Bill Clinton declared Black History Month as National African American History Month.

This August 21st will be the 50th in memoriam to George Lester Jackson. Jackson died in 1971 as a result of gunshot wounds at San Quentin State Prison. Since the 1978 intentional medical neglect murder of Khatari Gaulden, African American prisoners at San Quentin have set aside the month of August as a month-long remembrance to those who lost their lives in the struggle for justice within the prison setting. No longer limited to San Quentin, nor African Americans, today, Black August is an international homage.

In film, with the release of the 2007 motion picture Black August. In literature, with the release of the 2019 book Black August: 1619 – 2019. In music, with the release of the 2019 sound recordings Black August Mixtape. And in art, with the release of the 2016 artwork Black August – Los Angeles.

In an exclusive interview, California Prison artist Donald “C-Note” Hooker, aka Billboard Banksy, tells me the impetus to this generous display of public benevolence.

C-Note: People are hurting. My friend, Art Editor at the San Francisco Bay View, Wanda Sabir, just came back from a cross-country trek where she literally walked in the footsteps that once belonged to Sojourner Truth. When asked why she was doing it, she responded:

To repair the social, economic, political and racial riffs that remain unmended between inhabitants of this United States of America. Sojourner Truth knit together freedom-seeking and freedom-loving people. They covered her shoulders and helped her in her work until she returned to the heavens a shooting star.

That resonated with me. I was deeply moved by Van Jones’s statement earlier in the week on the poor economic status of Black America. Jones, if you recall, was a recipient of one of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s $100 million gift. His former wife, Mackenzie Scott, also, recently contributed to Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice Fund. Gund is the New York socialite who sold her Roy Lichtenstein Masterpiece for $150 million, and then gave away $100 million to end mass incarceration. Well, ain’t that what Black August is about? Remembrance, reflection, and sacrifice for those who gave their life in the struggle for prison reform?

For over thirty-years Wanda has hosted an event called the [Year #] Annual Celebration of African American Poets and Their Poetry. And there is always a poetry prompt for poets based on that year’s African-American theme put out by Carter G. Woodson’s Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). 2022’s theme is health.

Well you can’t be healthy, broke. So I’m going to give back. 96-years-ago, in 1926, Carter G. Woodson, aka the father of Black history, was able to convince enough folk to support his Negro History Week. Today, it is now known as Black History Month. That got me to thinking, What’s 96% of $5,000? It’s $200! So for my very first political work of Art, Black August – Los Angeles which retails at $5,000, anyone can purchase a wall print at $200. I rarely sell non wall art prints, but my manufacturer sells a plethora of print products, and has my permission to make available until August 31st only, non wall art print product’s to the public.

Billboard Banksy

C-Note, aka Billboard Banksy, is known for a series of works that have changed lives, saved lives, raised millions of dollars, made history in the fashion world and is the first prison artist to have his art work displayed on two billboards in 2021 and 2022, in Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world. His artistic output is too numerous to mention and is why he is called the world’s most prolific prisoner artist.

In 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast of Texas. It prompted C-Note to create one of his most disseminated Works as a Public Service Announcement, During the Flood. In 2019, several individuals and grassroots organizations used During the Flood as a Public Service Announcement to evacuate prisons in the path of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian.

In 2021, several individuals and grassroots organizations used During the Flood as a Public Service Announcement to evacuate prisons in the path of the Category 4 Hurricane Ida.

It would be hard-pressed to find a comparable Emerging artist from the Underground contemporary art world, whose art has been used to save thousands of lives.

RAISED MILLIONS:

(2021) California Coalition for Women Prisoners Headquarters, D. Hafash Al-Amin and Anna with a wood block of C-Note’s 2018 paintoem, Today We Are Sisters.


In 2018, C-Note created the Paintoem (painting + poem) Today We Are Sisters. The digital work was created to raise awareness of the 150 forced sterilizations in California’s women prisons from 2006 – 2010, and the lack of reparations to the prisoner victims. The painting and poem tells of a truce between women who are Pro-Life, with women who are Pro-choice, to lend their combined strengths to end forced sterilizations of women prisoners.

While other individuals and organizations were involved in this advocacy, it wasn’t until the release of Free Virtual Art Exhibition (1-Artist; 1-Subject; 21-Works) , which concluded with Today We Are Sisters in February of 2021, that in April of 2021, California legislative committees finally acquiesced to the lobbying for reparations to California women prisoners who were forcibly sterilized. AB 1007 Forced or Involuntary Sterilization Compensation Program (2021-2022) provides $7.5 million in reparations to anyone who were forcibly sterilized by the State. It was the first time prisoners were included for reparations in California’s forced sterilization budget.

It would be hard-pressed to find a comparable Emerging artist from the Underground contemporary art world whose art has reverberated into raising millions of dollars for State-sanctioned crime victims.

MADE HISTORY IN FASHION WORLD:

In 2019 – 2020 C-Note worked with Fashion designer Makenzie Stiles for her fashion line Mercy. COVID-19 lockdowns in the Spring of 2020 prevented a global first in the 100-year-plus history of the Catwalk, models walking the Runway in clothes designed with Prison art.

It would be hard-pressed to find a comparable Emerging artist from the Underground contemporary art world whose art has made history in the World of Fashion.

FIRST IN PRISON ART HISTORY:

C-Note “they call him the Billboard Banksy”; the 2021 Incarceration Nation Billboard Art Installation is the first in a series of Silicon Valley Billboard Art Installations. Each new work will lead to a path towards the Santa Cruz Mountains.

When interviewed by Billboard insider, I, Anna D. Smith, Fine Art and Real Estate Broker explained, these kinds of Billboard Art Installations are part of the latest trend in the Art World, known as “Look Up!” My inaugural Silicon Valley “Look Up!” exhibition features America’s Premier work of art on mass incarceration.

The text on the Incarceration Nation Billboard Art Installation, C-Note “they call him the Billboard Banksy” is an homage to UK Graffiti artist Banksy, whose works are known for their social commentary.

My “Look Up! 2” Hope & Beauty Art Exhibition, and Art Sale, Dec 27 – Jan 31, 2022 was the second of four seasonal Billboard Art Exhibitions to take place in San Jose, California, the largest city in the Silicon Valley. It featured C- Note’s 2015 Colored Girl Warholed. A work inspired by Andy Warhol’s 1962 retrospective of Marilyn Monroe, Warhol’s Four Marylins. Warhol memorialized Marilyn Monroe from a publicity photo ten years prior to her death in 1962. By doing so, some would argue he created Modern Art’s first Mona Lisa.

By contrast, C-Note used his 2009, Wax on paper, Colored Girl. In the spring of 2015, C-Note began selling art prints of Colored Girl Warholed. In the fall of 2015, the auction house Christie’s sold Warhol’s Four Marilyns for $36 million.

In the winter of 2021, a new variant of the Coronavirus, Omicron, had become too virulent for a retail art sale inside of Santana Row.

The Billboard art installation served as an entrance into Santana Row. Santana Row is the home to premiere restaurants, residential, and retail. It allowed for one-million daily Billboard Art Exhibition views. Google, Facebook, and Apple workers live in Santana Row. Tesla has a showroom in Santana Row, and Sports teams stay at the Valencia Hotel in Santana Row.

When interviewed by Billboard Insider, I stated,

“This Billboard is about Hope and Beauty,“

“Despite Breanna Taylor, Valentina Orellana-Peralta, #MeToo, #SayHerName, C-Note’s Art reminds us we are all grandmothers, mothers, other mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, and have Beauty and Dignity. Anna D. Smith’s “Look Up!” 2 Hope & Beauty Billboard Art Exhibition was absolutely necessary in these two + years of trying times of uncertainty and social isolation for all of Humankind. I was able to create two Art Events with C-Note’s help, and I’m joyful about this!”

For more information on C-Note, the poet, playwright, performing artist, award winning visual artist, and known as the King of Prison Hip Hop, whose works have either been exhibited, recited, performed, or sold from Alcatraz to Berlin. See www.C-Note.org 

Fire Sale Art Event

Black August – Los Angeles Canvas $200.00

Black August – Los Angeles Woodblock $200.00

Black August – Los Angeles Throw Pillow $24.00

Black August – Los Angeles Tote Bag $22.50

Black August – Los Angeles Greeting Card $4.95

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