Jun 2, 2020
News

Artist Jammie Holmes flew banners over five U.S. cities featuring George Floyd’s final words.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Detroit), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Hayden Stinebaugh.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Detroit), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Hayden Stinebaugh.

As activists across the United States took to the streets on Saturday in protest over the murder of George Floyd, artist Jammie Holmes took to the skies. With the help of Detroit gallery Library Street Collective, Holmes commissioned planes to fly over five U.S. cities—New York, Miami, Dallas, Detroit, and Los Angeles—carrying banners emblazoned with the last words spoken by Floyd, who was killed on May 25th while being arrested by Minneapolis police. The phrases on the banners ranged from “They’re going to kill me” over New York to “Please I can’t breathe” over Detroit.
Holmes, an emerging artist most known for his figurative painting work, told the T: The New York Times Style Magazine that the demonstration came together in less than 48 hours. “I thought this was a better way of getting the message out,” he told T.
Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (New York City), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Sue Kwon.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (New York City), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Sue Kwon.

Holmes released a statement about the project on his website that read, in part:
The use of sky media to recount Floyd’s final words presents a contrast to the noise of digital media and employs a form of communication that is most often used by the privileged to announce sporting events, marriage proposals, or promote consumption. It is rarely used for political or social purposes—to exercise free speech—because it is an outlet unavailable to the poor and marginalized. [...] Like countless silenced and fearful young black men, I have been the victim of police misconduct on a number of occasions in my life. At some point, they will realize they can’t kill us all.
Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Los Angeles), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Ricky Fabrizio.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Los Angeles), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Ricky Fabrizio.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Dallas), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Mark LaBoyteaux.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Dallas), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Mark LaBoyteaux.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Miami), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Andre De Aguilar.

Jammie Holmes, They’re Going to Kill Me (Miami), 2020. Photo courtesy of Jammie Holmes and Library Street Collective. Photo by Andre De Aguilar.