Take a scroll through images on Instagram and Tumblr with the hashtag #ArtHoe (or #ArtHo) and you will be inundated with beautiful images of Black boys and girls juxtaposed in art. On Instagram alone over 9,000 photos appear in the search. So, what exactly is an #ArtHoe? The online movement is a collection of Black artists creating visual images to celebrate people of color and their complex identities.
The movement hopes to encourage more people of color (POC) to join the visual art scene and creates an online community for minority artists across the globe. The movement’s 15-year-old founder. Mars, is turning what is often considered negative into a portrait of beauty.
“‘Hoe’ is AAVE (African American Vernacular English) and is normally a derogatory way to refer to women – especially black women – as being promiscuous, within the male gaze. Using the term in an arbitrary way diminishes its harmful origin in light of something better,” the teen artist told The Guardian on the controversial name.
Controversial or not, Mars has some pretty iconic young Black stars attached to the movement. Hunger Games’s Amandla Stenberg has decorated her Instagram page in many #ArtHo images.
The young thought leader, Willow Smith, has also attached herself to the influx of art. Whether celebrity or not, minorities across the U.S. and abroad are turning their selfies into art with doodles or stamps and creating a safe haven for their voice and images alike.
“(Art Ho) gives POC a platform to express their internalised struggles, which is a problem we face everyday. We don’t have a voice in this society. It’s usually subdued by our white counterparts, and our anger is taken for granted – having this movement gives people an insight into who we really are,” Mars told Dazed magazine.
Check out some of the creatively inspiring images below and get with the #Arthoe movement.
Are you here for this?