As many other students have chosen, I was drawn to the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” piece in the art gallery. Mainly due to the use of bright, vibrant colors and cartoon-like imagery, it was intriguing to me and the inner child in me. This screen printed piece was very appealing and when I found out what Michael had intended for this piece to represent, I was shocked. He had said that this piece, made in summer of 2016, revolved around the release of the Pokemon Go game for mobile phones, a game I had really enjoyed. One thing that I remember about this game was all the people who were getting injured because they played the game while driving, or in public and someone attacked them, etc. So I think the theme that really stands out is oblivious, which may have been why Michael decided to incorporate Pokémon Go with the concept of police brutality against African American men. This game was so huge over the summer, that people may have not realized the hundreds of black people being killed by police that year. This could be Michael’s way of bringing attention to the police brutality problem, by creating a ‘fun’ piece with Poké balls all over it.
There is a lot of red, white and blue colors to represent the nation as well as the Poké balls. The bottom of the image says “GO”, as in the Pokémon GO game, almost looks like two eyes, which are completely filled with Poké balls, despite the three figures being shot at right in front of their eyes. It seems to speak to the degree that police brutality was right in the face of America but everyone was too focused on a new shiny game then to pay serious attention of what was happening around them. On the top portion of the image, there are a lot of policemen standing in front of a background that looks like pencils, which could represent policemen’s mission to protect children, or to try preventing children from becoming criminals.
It also appears that the police men are angry, or upset because they are frowning, and have blank eyes. They are also all white. There are two policemen shooting at the center figure, who looks to be pleading for them to stop by raising their hands up in either direction.
Overall it’s a very compelling piece with a lot of hidden messages within it, speaking powerfully about the police brutality problem in America.