Marcus Pettiford

Read Marcus’ Artist Spotlight Profile here!

Self Portrait
“Self Portrait”

“I believe that it is my responsibility as an artist to give voice, and humanize a population (myself included) that is often unfairly demonized and stereotyped… The man with the words tattooed on his face is a self portrait. I wanted to convey my feelings versus the world’s position on my circumstances. I just want the art to speak for itself.”


The most recent piece I finished. I do a lot of pieces of hands, for some reason, but that picture in particular, what inspired me to do it was what happened to George Floyd.

It’s a rope wrapped around the hands, but it’s not really wrapped around it. To me, with George Floyd and with other people who were victims of police shootings, it’s kind of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” So if your hands are tied behind your back, you can get the same outcome as if they weren’t.



Marcus Pettiford

I did another piece on black paper, it’s a man with the year 1977 over his mouth. It’s a guy I met here who’s been locked up, incarcerated since 1977. 

He’s wearing a black and white pinstripe shirt, and I did that to kind of put you in the mind frame of the chain gang. 

What gave me the inspiration… I just felt like this is a man who’s been locked up over forty years, and he’s been silenced, his voice has been taken away from him, and I just kept thinking about how there’s so many contributions a man could make in 43 years of life. What could he have done in life? What could his voice, or his deeds have contributed to the world for 43 years? 

He’s been muzzled, and kept from a whole community for four decades, and what could he have been if things were different for him? 

He was my inspiration to do that piece, him and his story. I felt connected, I wanted to do a piece of him. 

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Marcus Pettiford


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