Like many of us, makeup artist Simone J was devastated by the sight of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by police. So she decided to use her skills as an artist to pay tribute to the victims and show her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The image of her face splattered with 6 bullet wounds and bloody tears pouring from her eyes has since gone viral.
In an interview with Essence.com, she said:
The development of that art piece came about after vigorously following the news of the recent events that took place. I also saw the videos online which were absolutely tragic and heart-breaking to watch. To see that, nowadays, you can actually watch someone take their last breath on Instagram blows my mind. The next morning I woke up to yet another black man (Philando Castile) being gunned down. I don’t think there were words to describe how I felt mentally, emotionally nor physically at that time. Even though I am not a citizen of the USA, I wanted to show my support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to help raise awareness using my platform which is through art, as this situation affects the world. Sometimes when tragedy strikes there are no words to describe what you feel inside.”
She explained that the 6 shots to the face represent the “type of violence that led to the death of these men involved and to also raise awareness that gun violence is a major issue.” The tears of blood depict the “bloodshed, pain, hurt, anger and despair” and the highlight in the inner corners of her eyes represent hope. “Eventually, as small as it may be, there is hope,” she explained. Hope for peace, unity and love.”