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'I don't want to be silent.' Nashville artist addresses issues of race through art

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Posted at 7:49 AM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 09:05:00-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The death of George Floyd is raising awareness about racism in America. One Nashville artist wants to be part of the conversation, and he's doing it without saying a word.

"I don't want to be silent," said Wayne Brezinka.

For years, he's wanted to address an issue that's often brushed aside.

"Racism is touchy subject. I'm white," he said. "What do I have to say about it? What can I say about it?"

After the death of George Floyd, he no longer had questions.

"I watched the video, and I was moved so deeply." "I'm like, again, I can't be silent. I have to say something, do something," he said.

The answer was right in front of him.

"You know what, I have success as an artist, and my voice is my art, and I can't be quiet."

For years he's made collage art, telling stories through portraits, and now he's dedicating one to George Floyd.

"My voices come out through this George Floyd portrait," he said. "I want people to stop and think about racism and think about George Floyd's life."

While Floyd's face can be seen, this portrait also focuses on a bigger picture.

"I didn't want to have people forget about the other individuals who have lost their lives, you know, through police brutality," Brezinka said.

Brezinka is not profiting off of this portrait. At one point in July, his collage was featured on a billboard near downtown Nashville.

Brezinka says the goal is to spread awareness and you can also download a copy of it here.