Colorful Mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis Turns Into a Powerful Memorial Site

George Floyd Memorial Mural Minneapolis

In Minneapolis, five artists are using their skills to help ensure that George Floyd will not be forgotten. On May 25, 46-year-old Floyd was tragically choked to death by a police officer. All four officers on the scene have been fired, but only Derek Chauvin, who was recorded keeping his knee on Floyd's neck until he died, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder. Floyd's homicide is just the latest in many stories of black men in America being killed by the police and has brought outrage as demonstrations have spread across the country.

Xena GoldmanCadex Herrera, and Greta McLain, with the help of Niko Alexander and Pablo Hernandez, immediately set out to create a mural in Floyd's honor at the very intersection where he was murdered. The motivations behind creating the artwork are a powerful statement. The collective went straight to work, finishing the mural just a few days after Floyd's death. Now, the colorful work of art has transformed into a memorial site, with people leaving signs and flowers below the mural.

“It was important for us that no one ever walk through that intersection without realizing what happened there,” artist Xena Goldman tells My Modern Met. The artists placed a sunflower behind Floyd to symbolize the light he brought to the community. Within the center of the sunflower, they wrote the names of other black victims who have been killed by the police. In this way, the memorial is about more than just George Floyd—it's universal.

“It was crushing that we in no way could fit all of the names,” Goldman shares. “Not even close. This is a message to the public that we will never forget those lost at the hand of police. The amount of murals going up provides a sense of a memorial but it's also the community saying, ‘Don't look away—face this.'”

For Goldman, who is white, painting the mural was a way for her to use her skills to give back and to make an impact. “I recognize that I have had opportunities not afforded to many people of color. It is the least I can do to offer my skill set in this way.”

A collective of artists painted a mural honoring George Floyd at the intersection where he was killed by a police officer.

George Floyd Memorial Mural Minneapolis

Floyd is in the foreground of a giant sunflower with names of other black victims of police brutality written in the center.

George Floyd Memorial Mural Minneapolis

Across his chest, the artists wrote “I can breathe now”—a call back to Floyd's cries for help while being choked.

George Floyd Memorial Mural Minneapolis

The mural has become a makeshift memorial, with people bringing flowers and signs to honor Floyd and the countless other black lives lost at the hands of police brutality.

George Floyd Memorial Mural Minneapolis

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Xena Goldman.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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