Artist creates Black Lives Matter-inspired mural at Central and Washington

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new mural in Albuquerque is celebrating the Black Lives Matter movement. From a distance, you can spot a giant fist at the corner of Central and Washington, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

“The goal for that aspect was to draw people in with the fist from far away,” said artist Noé Barnett. “Then, when you get close, you can see different images.”

Barnett was inspired to create the mural “Overcome” following the murder of George Floyd last month. Floyd was killed in Minneapolis while in police custody.

“It’s titled, Overcome, I guess, and it’s inspired by everything happening in the world. It was sparked by George Floyd, everything happening with him, his passing, his murder,” said Barnett. “I felt like I had to say something and I wanted to say something that kind of encapsulated the full scope of the issue and not just one single point in history.”

Looking closer, the fist is filled with faces. They include everyone from the symbolic faces of the Civil Rights era like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, as well as current faces of the Black Lives Matter movement like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.

“I guess a reason why a lot of people are so emotional about this is because it’s been going on for x-amount of years,” said Barnett. “I wanted to try to illustrate that this is not a one-time event but more-so something that’s taken place over hundreds of years.”

Barnett says the building’s owner let him take over the east wall for the mural, which took just six hours to create. “Finding a wall is always the most difficult part of painting murals,” said Barnett.

As for the fist, he hopes those who see it are reminded of the community coming together. He says, overall, the mural encapsulates the strength and solidarity of working together, a powerful image of the unity to ‘overcome’ hate.

“I think it’s kind of symbolic of what the fist is,” said Barnett. “It represents solidarity, which is not just about black people but all people just being in unity.”

Barnett is the same artist who created the mural for the New Mexico United soccer team downtown at Coal and 2nd Street. He says he has a few more murals in the works around Albuquerque.

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