11 Black Artists You Need To Know

Influential Artists to Learn More About During Black History Month

1. Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

Basquiat was an American artist descending from Haitian and Puerto Rican roots. Basquiat often used social commentary in his artwork as in order to identify his experiences in the black community, and to address the issues on power structures and systemic racism.



2. Joshua Johnson (1763-1832)

Joshua Johnson was a portrait painter from the 18th and 19th-century. He worked and lived in Baltimore while creating over 100 portraits. All of his portraits were created in the same style, a plain background, portrait subjects sitting down, and the painter's works often included fruit, flowers, and parasols as props.

3. Kara Walker (born 1969)

Walker is an American contemporary painter, print-maker, silhouettist, and installation artist who encourages conversations around race, gender, and identity in her artwork. She is well-known for her large, room-sized, black cut paper silhouettes.


4. Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000)

Lawrence was an American painter who was known for his portrayal of African-American life. Lawrence identified his style as dynamic cubism, self-defined as bringing the African-American experience to life using blacks and browns mixed with vivid colors within his artwork.