Khari Ricks (New Jersey, USA) & Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (New York, USA)

“BootyBounce to dis”

Assisted by Stephen Batiz

BootyBounce to dis was created to recognize the Jersey Club youth culture that originated in Newark, which has become a worldwide phenomenon. Its high energy dance movements draw from elements of vogue, popping, flexing, and juke. The mural speaks to its participants’ diverse backgrounds, which in turn produce a visual and physical language unique to the youth of New Jersey.

The artist: Khari Johnson Ricks

Khari Johnson-Ricks is a young New-Jersey-based artist who is working in Newark and identifies as a painter, animator, DJ, and dancer. His work analyzes conflicting symbols of masculine tradition through the guise of lyrical movement found in Shotokan Karate, Voguing, Hip Hop Dance, video games, Buddhist Mudras, and Kemetology. His work addresses the close relationships that theses cultures have to movement, as well as the ever-changing standards of what masculinity and manhood are. By referencing institutions like the dojo in contrast to the club or the ballroom, the work brings forth the stark dichotomy that comes with Queerness in America today, as well as underpinnings that tie these traditions together. Johnson-Ricks graduated from Montclair University with a Bachelors of Fine Art.

This is his first mural in the City of Newark.

“Sakia, Sakia, Sakia, Sakia”

Sakia Gunn was a teenager in Newark who was stabbed by a man after she and her friends refused him on the street. Sakia was 15, black, a girl, and gay.

Fazlalizadeh’s work revolves around street harassment, and her ongoing activist work “Stop Telling Women to Smile”. Sakia Gunn should be seen and visible. The title, Sakia, Sakia, Sakia, Sakia emphasizes Sakia’s legacy by asking you to repeat her name over and over again.

The artist: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is an African-American and Iranian artist originally from Oklahoma. She has recently been acclaimed for her project, “ Stop Telling Women To Smile,” which has had an impactful national presence. Her paintings are heartfelt portraits of both herself, and people she has casually encountered throughout her life. Fazlalizadeh’s self-portraits capture her strength as a woman, an attribute that initially provoked her to create the “Stop Telling Women to Smile” project.