Jim Carrey may be known primarily for his acting and comedic work, but he’s a man of infinite talents.
Performance art is far from the only art Carrey manages to create.
He’s also an accomplished visual artist.
According to a 2014 article in artnet news, Carrey picked up a paintbrush as a child and never put it back down.
After his meteoric rise in Hollywood, people assumed his recently revealed art merely reflected a man looking for a new hobby, but Carrey once told David Letterman about a cabin he maintains in his home country of Canada where he does “all his arts and crafts.”
Carrey also maintained an art studio in his California home. However it is only recently that most of the public became aware of the stand-up comedian and actor’s forays into the visual arts.
The swathes of colorful paintings he has created over the years often reflect current political and social conditions through vibrant colors and chaotic scribbles.
Carrey’s latest work, which features Colin Kaepernick, is no different.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) September 5, 2018
As an NFL player, Kaepernick made waves and created a movement when he began protesting the rampant racial injustice targeting African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem.
While some politicians sought to curry favor with their followers by claiming the protest intended to disrespect the flag or the anthem or the police or veterans or…. it remains focused on bringing about a national conversation about the disproportionate numbers of stops, injuries, false arrests and deaths of unarmed people of color in encounters with law enforcement.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show the disparities at the heart of the NFL players’ peaceful on field protests.
While African Americans are not first on the list of groups most likely to die in encounters with law enforcement, their numbers are still disproportionately high as are the numbers for Hispanics or Latinx and Native Americans.
Carrey’s depiction places Kaepernick alongside Jesse Owens, who chose to attend the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany and shattered the image of the Aryan Superior Man in front of Adolph Hitler himself.
Also depicted is the salute given on the medals’ stand by African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony on October 16, 1968, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. It was a political demonstration that caused both men to be ostracized by the US sports establishment. Both were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats. Smith stated that the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute as the press claimed, but a “human rights salute.”
Their careers were made legendary not just by their athletic prowess, but by their fervent and necessary political activism in times of crisis.
The artwork took Twitter’s breath away.
One of the best Mr. Carey. Such an important issue that has never been resolved since the time of slavery. As always, I love you more.
— Nancy Watters (@IrasFixer) September 5, 2018
On behalf of the black community world wide we thank you Mr Carrey for being our big brother pic.twitter.com/jaPz87zUzi
— SUNVILLAGE proverb (@gezizwe) September 5, 2018
Thank you for continually and artistically capturing what I'd like to express. I'm so happy with Nike's stance.
— Pam (@pamleo65_pam) September 5, 2018
I love you Jim
— Pey (@1peytonmichael) September 5, 2018
And though he wasn’t depicted in the work, many saw a dig toward the current President, who frequently rails against NFL players protesting racial injustice at his rallies and on Twitter.
It makes me so happy that not all big corps are not afraid of Trump❤️
— Kathy (@kpisgreat) September 5, 2018
I love when people do things that frustrate #Trump, because it's hilarious
— Ed (@Edward_1981) September 6, 2018
— Richie Morton (@einefather) September 6, 2018
As for his other career, Showtime recently announced Carrey will star in a new comedy show, Kidding. Carrey stars as a longtime host of a children’s show, Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles. Described as “an icon of children’s television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds,” the series covers what happens when Jeff’s home life goes off the rails.
Kidding premieres Sunday, September 9 on HBO.
Watch the official trailer here:
While Carrey’s acting work may be his bread-and-butter, the passion for social justice that reverberates through his work is stunning society as well.