Artist Harold Claudio, 34, has created a portrait of Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley using the popular candy Skittles. His Skittles’ portrait of Bob Marley is titled “Sweet Redemption” and is meant to convey a message of peace and unity, according to the artist. It is a “sweet, vibrant, colorful thing. So I will continue to define that with the art that I do.’
Claudio was moved to express his artistic vision in this way following the 2012 killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin who was carrying a package of Skittles when he was fatally shot walking home from a visit to a neighborhood store. In the aftermath of the crime, Skittles became a symbol of Trayvon Martin’s innocence. Claudio decided to honor this by creating a series of portraits of influential black individuals out of the colorful candy pieces. In addition to Bob Marley. the portraits created by Claudio, who lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, include those of Will Smith, Tupac and Beyoncé.
Before moving into his Skittles-based works, Claudio had previously worked in the traditional medium of pencil, but after the Trayvon Martin incident, he said he was inspired to “start a movement” by using one of the things Trayvon had with him when he was killed as an artistic medium. In an interview with Metro.co.uk, he explained, “‘The way I see it, no matter what we (people of color) do, it’s seen as a threat in society when actually we are sweet and colorful, like the candy.’
Each of Claudio’s Skittles portraits takes him about two weeks to complete. Claudio does use white Skittles in his work, but he has to import them from the United Kingdom or Canada as they are not available in the United States. Once a portrait is completed, it is “inedible art” that is meant to be honored rather than eaten.
He chooses the subjects of his portraits according to the cultural impact they have displayed. According to Claudio, ‘I feel that whoever is making a sweet positive impact in moving the culture forward in society should be immortalized in Skittles art.” Claudio is a self-taught, full-time artist who began drawing in his childhood. He has been creating art “ever since I picked up a pencil,” he said in the interview. Making art was something that he and his siblings just did, daring “ninja turtles” on the walls of their home, for example.
Photo Source: Harold Caudio