I find "Three Slick Pigs" delightful as it comments on several critical issues related to policing in America. The artist, OG Slick, is extremely clear about his intention in creating the art. City leaders in Escondido, California have chosen to stray close to stifling free speech and are certainly taking action intended to have a chilling effect on a group that rents space from them.
The piece, "Three Slick Pigs," is on display at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido as a part of a larger exhibit on street art in the region. The artist, OG Slick, told KUSI the piece is intended to draw attention to some police officers' excessive use of force and abuse of power. The work features a sculpture of three pigs in police uniforms, dancing and cross-eyed, as they stand in front of an image of officers in riot gear. The image behind them appears to be spray-painted with the letters APAB, which is an acronym deriding police officers.
The city council owns and subsidizes the center that put on the exhibit, Voice of San Diego reported. The mayor used that to argue the council had a responsibility to "at least talk about this management relationship" due to "this recent incident and, in my opinion, the tone deafness of it," McNamara said at a special council meeting, according to the outlet. In response, the center argued that it operates as an "independent, not-for-profit foundation," and that the City of Escondido "does not review, approve, or in any way inform the artistic choices that CCAE makes." The institution's employees are also "employed by the foundation, not the City," the center said. The artist released a statement about the work on June 28, saying on Instagram that "Three Slick Pigs" is based on some of his previous work and that it's supposed to offer a "satirical look at excessive police force and abuse of power by some individuals who hide behind the badge of the largest 'gang' in the U.S."
This is certainly an intimidating attempt by the City of Escondido to limit what this not-for-profit foundation features.
Image: screen grab/YouTube/Fox 5