Upon looking at “¿Defacimento?”, one of the first things that you notice are the stark color discrepancies. The police officers are colored in a baby blue and pale pink color, while the victim is depicted as a silhouette. The baby blue and pale pink colors are ironic, as those colors are most often associated with newborn children, and these colors are being used to portray police officers who are assaulting someone. These colors are also often associated with innocence because of their association with newborn children. When we think of police officers, we think of them as defending the general public, but in “¿Defacimento?” they are shown doing the exact opposite. Right on top of the title of the illustration, you see, “C.O.P.” This is obviously meant to be an acronym. While traditionally meaning “constable on patrol,” it almost seems as though he’s ridiculing this title, saying that they’re simply abusing the power that they have on patrol.
The silhouette being tortured essentially dehumanizes black human beings. The nose is emphasized as are the ears on top of his head, creating an animalistic image. The officers’ face have an expression of sheer, cartoonish joy; it looks like they’re having fun. The title of this work, “¿Defacimento?”, literally means defacement. Just as to the officers is the graffiti artist is “defacing” the walls of public property, the artist is defaced to the cops as well as the audience. There are documentaries such as, Style Wars that show that whites were prominently involved in graffiti culture; however, the preconceived notion is that it is typically something that blacks do. Law enforcement sees it as vandalism; the artists themselves see it as “their own kind of freedom. Writing your name was like locating the edge of civil society and planting a flag there.” (Chang 74)
The piece fundamentally brings together current events (the art might possibly be showing the beating of Michael Stewart), irony (with the colors), stereotypes (how some view black people as not being on the same level as whites) and artistry in order to convey ethical and moral issues.