Michael Menchaca

Michael Menchaca

Gotta Catch 'em all, 2017


25 x 19 in., 32 x 26 in.

Courtesy of the artist.

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This colorful screen print is bursting with detail. The frenzied composition by Michael Menchaca blends illusions to history and art history such as ancient Meso-American codices and European bestiaries with the aesthetics of contemporary video games. He frequently uses anthropomorphic animal archetypes as stand-ins for oppressed bodies in his work that explores immigration, racism and crime in America. In this composition Meso-American bird-headed figures are being attacked by machine-like bodies representing police forces. This print was made in response to a wave of police killings of black Americans beginning in 2016. The title of this work, Gotta Catch’em all, is the slogan of Pokemon Go, a global augmented reality phenomenon where players try to catch friendly, cute monsters. Menchaca imbues this phrase with a more menacing tone by associating it with this scene.