*You’ve heard the saying, art imitates life, right?
Well imagine if art designed life. Imagine the tables being turned on some of the most horrific injustices of the 21st century. And the victim became the victor.
Now look at the drawing above again. Makes sense, right?
The image is the work of 29-year-old artist Markus Prime; who was so affected by what he saw in McKinney, Texas — when a police officer became unduly aggressive with a 15-year-old black girl, he knew he had to do something with his emotions.
Prime admits he felt a rush of anger followed by seeping frustration as he watched the viral video of patrol supervisor Cpl. Eric Casebolt’s blatant disrespect of Dajerria Becton, the teenage girl who at first was unidentified, but later spoke out.
And when watching footage of Casebolt forcing Benton face-down to the ground and sitting on top of her as she cried out for her mother, an immediate need to respond was triggered.
But he didn’t go out and start a physical altercation. Nor did he take his frustrations out on his family or friends. What he did was use his art to channel these emotions into something that made sense to him.
“It struck a nerve,” Markus told The Huffington Post. “This particular incident spoke to me because these things happen every day but this time it happened to a child.”
Markus said the officer’s actions were inexcusable, and the narrative around police officers using excessive force against black individuals, specifically black women, is an all-too-common and overlooked concern.
Markus flipped the script on this one. And the image above is the result. The drawing reflects what it would look like if a black woman was awarded the kind of respect white men receive.
In the picture we see a white police officer lying face-down on the ground with his hands tied behind him. While a faceless black girl wearing an orange swimsuit stands over him with one leg placed on the officer’s back and her hands triumphantly on her hips.
“The video bothered me and I didn’t want [my response] to be anything complicated,” he said. “I just wanted to make my point in the most simplistic but powerful way possible.”
The figures may immediately draw parallels to Becton and Casebolt, but to Markus the image reflects the ongoing harsh treatment of black lives at the hands of the police. And it is symbolic of the entire Black Lives Matter movement.
Read more about the conversation Markus hopes his drawing will ignite at Huffington Post.