Home » Coachella’s unique tribute to Tyre Nichols

Coachella’s unique tribute to Tyre Nichols

by The Grio

It’s officially festival season, and as Indio, Calif., prepares to host its 24th annual Coachella festival, musicians and artists are working to transform the desert valley into an unforgettable landscape. This year, the music and art festival will feature Desert X, an art exhibition featuring 12 international artists. Amongst this year’s list of artists using the desert as their creative playground is Tyre Nichols. Before his untimely death at the hands of Memphis police officers, Nichols was a loving father and creative, passionate about photography. 

Tyre Nichols photography, Coachella 2023 Black art 

“It expresses me in ways I cannot write down for people,” Nichols wrote of his photography. “My vision is to bring my viewers deep into what I am seeing through my eye and out through my lens. People have a story to tell; why not capture it instead of doing the ‘norm’ and writing it down or speaking it.”

Nichols’ art will return to California, where he lived before moving to Tennessee. After moving from the West Coast to the East Coast in 2020, Nichols used photography as an outlet and motivator to explore his new city. Unfortunately, on his way home from capturing images of the Memphis sky on January 7, 2023, the aspiring photographer was pulled over and brutally attacked by city police officers. His passing three days later struck Black communities across the nation. Now, Nichols’ creative view of the world will be shared on billboards spanning a Palm Springs highway. 

For organizers of the Desert X installations, the billboards honor not only Nichol’s legacy but also the legacy of all those who have fallen victim to institutional racism.

“Here, the silent beauty of these levitated images stands in stark contrast with the terror experienced by Nichols and so many others on the shoulder below,” reads the Desert X website. “But as with the vision, the message is also one of hope: hope that with restrictions on…

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