Artist responds to police brutality in US with hard-hitting cartoons

Artist responds to police brutality in US with hard-hitting cartoons

With the recent spate of police violence against black people in the US, Italian satirical artist aleXsandro Palombo has released a new, hard-hitting art series in response to the brutality.

The series features characters from animated sitcom The Simpsons in situations mirroring real-life instances of police brutality targeting black people.

For instance, one picture features Bart Simpson lying dead beside a toy gun, alluding to the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November last year.

Two sketches showing the TV series' police officer Chief Wiggum with a chokehold on a black character, and characters carrying signs with the message "I can't breathe", were a direct reference to the death of Eric Garner in July last year.

There have been a number of high-profile incidents of police brutality against African Americans over the past year. Most notably, the fatal shooting of American teenager Michael Brown sparked a series of large protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

More recently in Apr 2015, a black man, Walter Scott, was fatally shot by a white police officer in the back, while the death of Freddie Gray, from spinal injuries when in police custody, sparked off protests in Baltimore.

The images were posted on Palombo's Facebook page with the message: "We are one, we are all human #StopRacism".

Contemporary artist and activist Palombo is known for his provocative cartoons to raise awareness on important issues.

Earlier this year, he released a series that featured The Simpsons as Holocaust victims to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.

Last year, he also created a series of sketches where he re-imagined Disney princesses and other popular characters as breast cancer survivors.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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