Justice for Sean Monterrosa
July 9–August 23, 2020
On June 2, 2020, Sean Monterrosa, a 22-year-old resident of San Francisco, was fatally shot by Vallejo police officer Jarrett Tonn. Monterrosa was on his knees with his hands above his waist when Tonn fired five shots from inside his vehicle, through his own windshield. His death occurred at the beginning of a national uprising, with protests around the world calling for justice and an end to police violence.
In 2014, Bay Area artist Oree Originol launched Justice For Our Lives, an open-source digital portrait series of people who have been killed by U.S. law enforcement. Inspired by Black Lives Matter activism, the black-and-white portraits have served as pivotal instruments in the fight for justice against state-sponsored terrorism. Often working with the families of those killed when selecting the source photograph, Originol distills images into simple line work that easily translate to reproducible templates. His images have been publicly disseminated worldwide in demonstrations, classrooms, art galleries, as street art and online. You can download your own PDF of Originol’s poster for Sean Monterrosa here. With permission from Sean Monterrosa’s family, Oree Originol and Premiere Jr. honor his memory. We thank the family and Kate Rhoades for their help in making this exhibition possible.
Oree Originol has been an active member of the Bay Area art community since he moved to the region from Los Angeles in 2009. With a background in graffiti and abstract, colorful painting, Originol joined the artist network CultureStrike in 2012, connecting his practice to activism and social engagement. His work has been covered in the East Bay Express, the San Francisco Examiner and a KQED Arts documentary; his Justice for Our Lives portraits were included in Take This Hammer at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and will be shown at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2020.