Local artist Key describes politics’ power through art


Jada Urbaez, Writer

Political conversations often turn heavy especially if those participating are in disagreement. Oftentimes, people cannot think of the correct words to express their thoughts, or sometimes there simply are no words to communicate them. Luckily, when words fail, art prevails, even when it comes to politics. 

An inspiring anonymous artist who goes by Key is a young local talent whose work is centered on human rights issues and politics. Key describes how they express their emotions through their art. In a recent interview with the Collegian, Key was asked what art has the potential of portraying. In response, Key stated, “Think of it as if someone were to state their opinion, but in image form”. The illustrator continued by expressing that with politics and world issues, it provides a visual representation rather than a conceptual one. For instance, if someone were to read about hungry children, they would more than likely continue their day unaffected afterward. Nonetheless, Key declares that if the same idea was a work of art, society would be emotionally touched in a way words cannot do. 

With digital paintings being this artist’s concentration, dozens have been published to Instagram including a handful of them with thousands of likes. One of Key’s digital paintings exceeded twelve thousand likes on this social media platform back in February of 2021. When the young talent was questioned about why they think this particular post  got this much recognition, Key replied, “it forced people to face reality- you can’t ignore an image”. 


Out of the dozens posted to their Instagram profile (@key_theartist), Key shared that their favorite digital painting so far is the one posted on February 22, 2021. It depicts a Black trans woman in support of LGBTQ+ rights. Key stated they decided to do a Black trans woman because “the Black community tends to be excluded from the LGBTQ+ rights movement”.

As an artist who cares about politics and human rights, Key is a talented creator who believes that art plays an important role in sending a message. Being a person of color in the art industry, Key emphasizes that illustrating for current events always comes with a load of emotion and passion.

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