I have always used art to express my personal struggles as a young, gay, neuro-atypical black artist, and to understand myself as an individual who is continuously being molded by my environment. Growing up as a black person in an environment with a high crime rate, being constantly reminded of how dangerous my environment was by local news channels and newspapers, and a seemingly constant police presence has differentiated me from some of my white friends who didn’t grow up in an urban environment. I recognize that growing up as a black person in Chicago has greatly influenced the way I react, not only to police, but to dangerous neighborhoods, or stories of shootings, or even a scene of a crime.
Police State explores how black people in urban communities, especially in high crimes areas like much the South Side of Chicago, continuously cope with the constant reminder that our communities, oftentimes regardless of socioeconomic status, are plagued with crime, are under constant police surveillance, and face constant police brutality.
Drew Richardson is a visual artist from Chicago whose work can be found at https://www.drewj3creations.com/