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A Brooklyn Artist Wants Sports Fans to Wear Their Names

  • April 07, 2021

With “Unarmed” as his professional focus, and supported by a grant from the V-Day Foundation, Rivero bought a used car, filled it with camera equipment, and left New York last fall determined to capture what was happening in America. Rivero visited Louisville, Ky., Kenosha, Wis., Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Denver, hanging his pieces and speaking with local residents about the tragic killings and violence in their communities. He recorded the trip and used the footage to create the short film, “Unarmed.” It debuted as part of YouTube’s “Black Renaissance,” a Black History Month special hosted by the Obamas that has been viewed more than 3.5 million times. He exhibited the jerseys at Leon Gallery in Denver last winter.

Though Rivero gave up his Brooklyn apartment before embarking on the cross-country journey and hasn’t returned since, he expects to be back later this month. He’s got another set of vinyl prints he’s prepared to hang up, and after enough people asked about wearable jerseys, he is in the final production of a Trayvon Martin edition. If Martin’s family members approve, he’d like to start selling the jersey, and then create others, using proceeds to support the victims’ families and donate to antiracism organizations.

“When you go to a ballgame in Denver, instead of wearing a Jamal Murray, wouldn’t there be someone who wants to wear an Elijah McClain jersey? I’d love to see that,” Rivero said.

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