CHRISTINA LIBRI considers tokenism in the art world through the canonical status of Jean-Michel Basquiat. In the past, the Black Lives Matter movement has been characterised by large swells of short-term support. Unfortunately, this mass engagement tended to die down after a month or two, meaning the promotion of anti-racism had a trend-like viral presence. In 2020, the most powerful message put across by the movement was the importance of ‘educating yourself’ in order to help bring about long-lasting and sustainable change. So I, an art history student, began to reflect on myself and my interests. Artists have always been at the forefront of social change. But artists, despite being its very foundation, do not reflect the art world. The art world, much like a work of art itself, is renowned for its shock-value, its ridiculousness and its fleetingness. Unfortunately, however, the art world is also riddled with elitism and…Continue Reading

The Art World’s ‘Token Black Friend’