Many juveniles join gangs at a very young age. Gang membership gives them a sense of 'belonging' and through the 'union' with other members also offers protection and security.
Gang membership often requires some kind of initiation - usually violent and unpleasant, which the initiate has to undergo to gain acceptance.
Gangs have also become absorbed into popular culture and that is what I am trying to illustrate through this piece - The 'twee' ornament has taken on the mantle of a gang initiate.
I am currently working on another piece (watch this space) of the same genre.