2011. július 2., szombat

(Symbols of a Hungarian tough prisoner's life) 21. kép szörny

This picture is extremely similar to a Bansky street art in London

Better source here.

Some prison drawings are easy to analyze because the symbols on the picture are standardized in the correctional setting like tattoos. The above picture was made in the Balassagyarmat prison for a prison art competition.
This drawing tells a story. The inmate in the center lives with his wife and his small child in harmony but the broader environment is malicious. A dark figure stands behind them - like the devil himself - in a hood, his face is not visible, he holds a knife in his right hand and tries to stab the romantic scene in the middle.
The symbols of temptation are at the bottom of the picture:
- a person snorts cocaine: this means the influence of the drug carrier on the criminality, but this is the symbol of greed as well which is central element of the antisocial behavior. 
- an ace of spades: the meaning of this is not so simple. The card with highest value symbolizes the tough life itself, the invincibility, the coolness but also the temptation of gambling.
- in the right bottom corner you can see a syringe loaded with heroine, it can mean the multiple problematic drug use, however under the needle there are some pills as well, MDMA type design.(According to some surveys done in the Hungarian night life drug scene the MDMAs are not in the use anymore, other stimulants like mephedrone replaced them. Three symbols on the pills are recognizable: the Mercedes Benz sign is the richness, the US Dollar sign the same and smiling face implies the techno party culture - which are a bit old fashioned or at least archetypical symbols of drug use.)
- a bankroll of US Dollars is in the left hand of the hooded demon.

Why is the face not visible? There are two possibilities to explain this.
- this picture is highly standardized prison drawing, namely it is copied from one to other and the source of the idea is hard to trace. The frame of the picture is a standard and you can change the smaller figure in the middle which is recently a family.
- the evil is also invincible itself and he hides his face under a hood.

The center of the drawing is colorful. The hair of the lady is blonde, her earring is red and the ring of the man is also yellow. It was quite important to emphasize the ring: the symbol of marriage, fidelity and in the prison: the sign of devotion. A man in a prison who tries not to hide his love toward his family is vulnerable. He is a target of bullying, blackmail and extortion.

There is an important message of this picture also for the society. The inmate himself is innocent but the items of temptation forced him to commit crime. The inmate is warmhearted and his values are based on family issues: this might be a representation of the self for the prison staff and other authorities.             
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