In February of 2021, Jamaican artist Melissa Koby and Google partnered to provide a series of Pixel wallpapers in honor of Black History Month. The three “Curated Culture” wallpapers were created by Koby to express the Black experience. The wallpapers include “Many One People,” “On the Hill,” and “Give Flowers.” Each one features a prominent yellow sun and, according to the artist, celebrate the different “paths and walks of life, finding joy and beauty despite trials, and a tribute to our ancestors’ dreams and brighter days.”
— Made By Google (@madebygoogle) February 3, 2021
Artist Melissa Koby was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the United States when she was in her late teens. She is now based in Tampa, Florida, and while she is not formally trained in art, she has been drawing and painting since she was four years old. Her current passion is digital illustrating. Koby notes that she has always used visual art as “my default way of self-healing.” Her illustrations are a direct reflection of how she feels. During the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, Koby began putting her illustrations on Instagram, imagining a world where people “felt safe and were coping just fine with being isolated. Koby believes it is important for her to create works that are inclusive and positive, especially for women. Most of her work is focused on connecting and empowering women, she said.
Many companies mark Black History Month each year to honor Black lives, and Google has continued to strengthen its pledge to support Black businesses, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a toll on economies around the world. While the company acknowledges that more can be done to support the Black community, it believes that even small things can have a positive influence. The introduction of the new collection of wallpapers seeks to do that. The “Curated Culture” wallpaper collection is now available for all Google Pixel smartphones.
Owners of Pixel smartphones can access the new wallpaper collection by long-pressing on the home screen and choosing “Styles and Wallpapers.” They may by able to pair the new wallpapers with a Pixel 5 case.
Photo Melissa Koby