Tag Archives: guerrilla

Art of War: 20 Awesome Gun and Bullet Artworks

30 Giu

There are artists who work with paint and clay, and then there are artists who create bizarre and thought-provoking art from slightly less conventional materials to prove a point. This collection features sculptures made from guns and bullets, high-speed bullet photography, illustrations of what happens when bullets pierce flesh and even drawings made by shooting at metal and paper with a sub-machine gun.

Reliquaries Made of Guns and Ammunition


(images via: Al Farrow)

Artist Al Farrow combined religious imagery with guns and bullets to startling effect in his 2001 series, ‘Reliquaries’. The sculptures are an ironic play on the medieval cult of the relic as well as a statement about continued ties between war and religion. Farrow says that in the making of these pieces, he was absolutely astonished at the ease with which one can procure huge amounts of gun related paraphernalia.

High-Speed Bullet Photography

(images via: David Neff)

Photographer David Neff keeps his techniques top secret, declining to divulge any details as to how he captures such amazing images. In this series of high-speed bullet photography, he fires .22 bullets at various objects like pears, crayons and cigarettes and takes the photo just as the bullet is grazing or passing through them. The result is a visually stunning reminder of just how destructive bullets can be.

Furniture and Sculpture Made from Discarded Cambodian Weapons

(images via: fresh home)

Sculptor Sasha Constable saw opportunity in the 125,000 weapons that were discarded by the Cambodian government after 30 years of war. Constable, along with a small arms specialist with the European Union, used the guns to create furniture and sculptures in The Peace Art Project Cambodia (PAPC) in November 2003. Among the items created were a coffee table, dining chair, settee, rocking chair and elephant sculpture.

Life Size Wax Figures with Cannon Wounds

(image via: aeroplastics.net)

Two life size male and female wax statues give us an idea of just how damaging a 20mm cannon wound really is in “A Memory of Matter” by Petroc Dragon Sesti. In these works, Sesti sought to explore “the stillness of terminal violence”. The figures were made in collaboration with the British Army, created from hard wax heated to human body temperature to reveal a moment of mutilation frozen in time.

Art Made with Submachine Guns, Rocket Fuel and Pyrotechnics

(image via: Connect Savannah)

Matt Stromberg is not your typical art professor. The Savannah College of Art and Design professor of sculpture uses anything but typical materials and methods in his work. Stromberg began wondering if he could carve with a submachine gun after watching a colleague work with a pneumatic chisel, which makes similar sounds while in use. That led to his current projects, in which he ‘sculpts’ metal panels with rocket fuel, explosives, pyrotechnics, propellants and, yes, bullets.  Stromberg had to go through special training and get licensed to use these materials.

“I think it’s really a fancy way of doing what every artist does,” Stromberg says. “The result is the same as if I grabbed a chunk of charcoal and drew on paper I was going to detonate.”

Bullet Hole as Abstract Montage

(image via: Saatchi Gallery)

If you didn’t know what you were looking at, this piece by Mat Collishaw might look like some kind of abstract painting. Then you realize it’s hair, skin and the gore left behind by a speeding bullet. It’s one large photo made up of 15 frames, mounted on light boxes for extra in-your-face effect.  Of the image, taken from a pathology textbook, Collishaw says, “There’s a religious beauty and animal sexuality in something so abhorrent.” Not all would agree, but it’s a powerful image nonetheless.

“Bullet Proof Vest” Created from Bullets

(images via: Art from the Soul)

Artist Ross Rodriquez made this ‘bulletproof vest’ with 30 caliber rifle shells. The artist, who usually works in printmaking and film, often explores the theme of gun violence in urban America.

Bullet Elephant

(image via: Derek Farr)

Spotted by Derek Farr at the Detroit Zoo, this elephant is a little… different than the ones roaming around outside. It’s a sculpture created by Mary Engel, who says of her creation, ” Elephants have become endangered due to the “gold” of the elephant, its ivory tusks. The bullets which make this sculpture are beautiful but menacing, as they remind us of humans’ destruction of exotic creatures”.

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Subversive Works of Urban Guerrilla Street Art

30 Giu

It’s all too easy to get stuck in a routine, walking through the city on autopilot without even noticing what’s around you. Urban guerrilla street artists seek to shake things up, force you to take a second look, change your preconceptions about your everyday surroundings. These ten artists use the streets as an untapped setting for personal artwork, call attention to social issues and question what kind of behavior is ‘appropriate’ in elevators, subways and retail stores.

Street Art That Makes You Look Twice by Mark Jenkins

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(images via: xmarkjenkinsx)

Ducks made of packing tape, floating in a puddle. A man seemingly putting his head through a concrete wall. The startling contrast of cheerful balloons tied to what looks like a dead body. These are all among the creative urban art installations that come from the mind of street artist Mark Jenkins, who treats public space like one big blank canvas.

Jenkins told art critic Brian Sherwin, “There is opposition, and risk, but I think that just shows that street art is the sort of frontier where the leading edge really does have to chew through the ice. And it’s good for people to remember public space is a battleground, with the government, advertisers and artists all mixing and mashing, and even now the strange cross-pollination taking place as street artists sometimes become brands, and brands camouflaging as street art creating complex hybrids or impersonators.”

Curbside Cabinet Trojan Horse

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(image via: Lucas Murgida)

It seemed like an especially lucky curbside find: a nice, modern, brand-new cabinet left on the sidewalk for somebody to claim and take home. But, it wasn’t any ordinary cabinet. Artist Lucas Murgida hid inside and waited until he was taken to a private space to emerge.

Of the project, Murgida said, “Often the city seems to be ours alone to experience and we assume that it is in turn ours for the taking. This sensibility is made evident in the U.S. by the often-quoted phrase, ‘Possession is 9/10 of the law.’ This means that the person who is not in possession of an item must prove that it is rightfully theirs… A person is not sure how to look at the object at first, but will usually fall back on the golden rule of U.S. culture (finders keepers, losers weepers) and claim it to be theirs. I am hoping to subvert the ‘finder’s’ personal space by claiming it to be my own public space.”

Subtle Yet Subersive Art Interventions by SpY

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(images via: dornob)

Spanish artist SpY subtly alters ordinary objects in urban environments, sometimes to make a statement and sometimes just for the fun of it. He describes his work as a “playful reappropriation of urban elements”, replicating them or transforming them in his studio and then installing them in the streets. He seeks to break through the automated monotony of everyday urban life and get people to notice things as if for the first time.

An Army of Fake Best Buy Employees

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(images via: Improv Everywhere)

Best Buy from ImprovEverywhere on Vimeo.

It was a fairly simple experiment: inserting dozens of people dressed like employees into a Manhattan Best Buy to see what would happen. The group Improv Everywhere gathered volunteers together, asked them to wear khakis and a very specific shade of blue polo shirt, and smuggled cameras inside the store to film the reaction. The ‘agents’ simply spread out in the store and stood around. If customers asked them a question, they answered as best they could. If employees asked what they were doing, they replied, “I’m waiting on a friend.”

As expected, the real Best Buy employees were confused at first… but then they became frightened. Convinced that the prank was some kind of elaborate heist, one frantic employee began shrieking “Thomas Crown Affair! Thomas Crown Affair!” Their hidden camera rig was discovered and the security guard called 911. All because a group of people were wearing blue polo shirts and khakis.

Subway Swing Disguised as a Bag

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(images via: Conflux Festival)

Paranoia reigns on New York City subways, but one artist wanted to bring back fun, innocence and laughter. So, flouting the “if you see something, say something” dictate of the Transportation Authority, she created a swing disguised as a bag that can be hooked around the handrail.

“I hope that the innocent amusement of swinging on the subway eclipses the atmosphere of suspicion and insulation that random searches (and the motto “if you see something say something”) produces. May playful engagement in public space provide a plausible alternative to the monotony of routine!”

Trash: Any Color You Like

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(images via: anycoloryoulike)

Neon pink with white polka dots certainly help trash bags stand out from their surroundings, highlighting just how many of them there really are in an urban environment. It also provides a pop of bright, fun color in what can otherwise be a dreary cityscape. New York-based artist Adrian Kondratowicz has distributed these biodegradable bags around New York City and in several countries around the world, hoping to raise environmental awareness and beautify urban spaces at the same time.

The Random Lift Button

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(image via: arch-os)

Do you always need to know exactly where you’re going? Sometimes, it’s therapeutic to give into chaos and randomness. Chris Speed of Arch-OS created the ‘random lift button’ so you can remove yourself from the system that has placed a premium on time and space, aimlessly wandering so as to enjoy a more complete experience.

Arch-OS explains, “Lifts become a temporal slippage in the experience of a building as a whole, we skip space and avoid people, places and the opportunity to see the ‘whole’. Indeed corridors and stairwells are recognized as the most important social spaces within businesses and many more negotiations and affairs occur between office spaces than within them.”

Trees Transformed into Giant Carrots

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(image via: Ads of the World)

With the simple addition of ridged orange containers, six tall and thin trees in Portland were transformed instantly into carrots, luring passers-by to read the stickers – advertising a local farmer’s market – and salivate over the thought of crisp, fresh produce. This installation was a subtle advertisement, but also added a sense of whimsy to an otherwise unremarkable urban street.

Literal ‘Street Art’ by Roadsworth

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(images via: Jalopnik)

The street itself is a blank canvas offering virtually unlimited opportunities for artistic expression, whether to communicate, beautify or engage. Street artist Roadsworth takes full advantage of this space, and his work has evolved over the years from anti-car sentiments in his hometown of Montreal to fun, ironic and sometimes thought-provoking imagery.

FILEangels Deliver Kits for Traffic Jam Fun

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(images via: Guerilla Innovation)

When you’re stuck in a traffic jam, you tend to sit around, bored and impatient, waiting for the chance to get out. A Dutch group of architects called Artgineering doesn’t see why we shouldn’t relax and have some fun while we’re waiting. The group had motorcycle-riding ‘FILEangels’ distribute ‘FILEkits’ (file is Dutch for traffic jam) containing items like a water pistol, a bible and a condom to bored motorists free of charge. The idea was to turn a negative situation into a positive one, giving motorists a reason to step out of their cars and interact with each other.

Awesome Messiness: Incredible Sloppy Artwork

30 Giu

It takes a special kind of person to actively pursue a messy career, be they a port-o-potty cleaner or a technician on an oil rig. Messy artists, you know, ones who cherish a sloppy line here and a paint splotch there, their canvases falling apart at the weight of their paint, belong in those ranks. And while the simple beauty of a clean line is certainly something to be cherished, so are the messy splotches of these dirty artists.

Angels With Dirty Faces

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(images via Mike Booker)

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(image via Mark Welsh)

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(image via Paul Leli)

“The eyes are the window to the soul,” goes the famous Proverb. So when a messy artist takes to messing up those eyes, and the rest of a person’s face, what we find staring back at us is scary. Grotesque faces can really be terrifying. They can evoke pity, anger, sadness and confusion. Whatever feeling provoked in the viewer, however, one thing can be sure — as long as the viewer is feeling SOMETHING, the artist succeeds. And be sure that a messily painted face is near impossible to leave a viewer cold and unemotional.

Smudgy Stars

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(image via Paul Leli)

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(images via Paul Leli and Lichiban)

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(images via Paul Leli)

And when that messy face is someone familiar, like a celebrity? Those emotions get all mixed up with conflicting feelings of familiarity and adoration and disgust and interest and whatever else that particular celebrity makes you feel. Depicting famous people in a demented manner is a great way for artists to grab hold of the neck of our pop ‘n celebrity-obsessed culture and shake it and squeeze it while yelling “Hey! Look at me! I can paint pretty well!”

Abstract Mess

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(images via Listen04)

And when you remove the faces and the celebrity and you’re left with gooey primitive sludge… what feelings are evoked then? Without the complicated emotions that are borne out of a demented, terrifying face, you’re left with the same feeling both children and cave painters share — JOY.

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” –  Chuck Palahniuk

Pugnacious Propaganda: 15 Images Of The Art Of War

30 Giu

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Propaganda has many purposes but paramount is its use to promote war and bolster a united home front. While most people have some acquaintance with their own country’s graphic propaganda – often absorbed into pop culture – that of the “enemy” is far less familiar and thus, somewhat jarring. This selection ofwartime propaganda from friends and foes alike takes no sides; instead it seeks to expose the bombastic, jingoistic and prejudicial properties all propaganda has in common.

American Propaganda’s Mild Side

propaganda2_1(images via: Looking Through The Lens and HubPages)

So-called soft propaganda is mainly concerned with exhorting citizens to join the armed forces and reminding workers of their important duties in munitions production. Iconic anthropomorphic symbols ofAmerican propaganda include Rosie The Riveter and good ol’ Uncle Sam.

Now It’s Personal

propaganda2_2(images via: Looking Through The Lens and The Advertising Archives)

Wartime propagandists turn up the heat when the situation on the battlefield becomes desperate. The above propaganda images are stark and severe, reflecting the tone of the times. Less words and plainer imagery help drive home the all-important message: win at all costs!

Antichrist Of The Axis

propaganda2_12(image via: Art’s Not Dead)

Beautiful yet bizarre, the image above depicts Germany, Italy and Japan killing Jesus Christ! American artist Thomas Hart Benton painted this stunning tableau, titled “Again”, in 1941 immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The painting was one of Benton’s 8-part “The Year In Peril” series whose stated purpose was to awaken Americans to the dangers of fascism.

Spanish Flew

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The Spanish Civil War that raged from 1936 through 1939 was one of the first modern wars to receive widespread international media coverage. Both sides; Franco’s right-wing Nationalists and the left-wing Socialist government put visual propaganda to good use in extolling their respective causes. Thousands of posters, many of them exquisite works of art, were produced by both sides during the course of the war.

Guernica: A Shout Against The Darkness

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On occasion the line between graphic propaganda and genuine art is blurred, even broken – such is the case with Pablo Picasso’s modern masterpiece, Guernica. Painted in 1937 following the aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by the German-manned Condor Legion, the immense (11.5 ft. by 25 ft.) painting shouts out against the horrors and injustice of war. The painting was commissioned by Spain’s socialist government following the bombing and was shown around the world, bringing attention to the Republican cause.

Stamps Of Disapproval

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The wartime OSS (which later became the CIA) was involved in the creation of forged postage stamps which were delivered into Nazi Germany via leaflet bombs. As one part of Operation Cornflakes over one million stamps were printed showing Hitler’s face as a human skull. To fuhrer, er, further get the point across the lettering beneath these stamps was changed from Deutsches Reich to Futsches Reich, or “Collapsed Empire”.

Putting The Kibosh On The Kaiser

propaganda2_4a(images via: MySpace: Kaiser_Wilhelm2Christianna’s BlogVicMart and AllPosters)

Second World War anti-Germany propagandists weren’t starting from scratch. A generation earlier, some surprisingly graphic posters made the rounds as allied governments sought to stoke war fever by demonizing Germany, especially Kaiser Wilhelm II. The French poster of the Kaiser trying to eat the world – and finding it too hard – is typical of the era.

Before Spike TV: Spike Propaganda

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Depicting German soldiers for propaganda purposes was easy: simply combine some dastardly deed with a soldier wearing a spike-toppedpickelhaube helmet. Though the pickelhaube was phased out in early 1916, it continued to be used as an identifying feature of Germany and/or Germans for propaganda purposes. This practice can also be questioned as the pickelhaube was used at times by soldiers in the service of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Russia and Sweden.

A Game Two Can Play

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Germany was by no means silent when it came to propaganda – Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels did much more than just write Hitler’s speeches. The above images aimed at Churchill’s Britain come from Lustige Blätter, a popular German humor magazine.

FDR FTW!

propaganda2_6(images via: German Propaganda Archive)

America joined the UK at war in 1941 and almost immediately joined her as a target of Nazi propaganda. Above are a small sampling, once again taken from the pages of Lustige Blätter.

Nuts!!

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Another type of graphic propaganda was aimed directly at troops in the field. The German propaganda leaflet above was fired via rifle grenade into the American positions at Bastogne, Belgium, in December 1944 during the crucial Battle of the Bulge. Bastogne was where the commanding American officer, when presented with a German demand for surrender, famously replied “Nuts!!”

KULTUR-TERROR

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This disturbingly sardonic image was widely reproduced in Germany and occupied countries. There are several variations titled eitherKULTUR-TERROR or LIBERATOR. The color poster above is the most disturbing, portraying the decadent American prodigal son who has crossed the ocean to bring lies, hate and death to Mother Europe. The caption of the poster translates to “USA wants to save Europe’s culture FROM DESTRUCTION?”

Red Star Rising

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The USSR boasted a long tradition of vivid graphic propaganda that was employed to support their war effort in World War II. The war in the east began with betrayal and was bitterly fought – Soviet propaganda posters pull no punches: the translated captions on the above posters read, clockwise from upper left, “Kill German Beasts!”, “Warrior of Red Army, save us!”, “That will happen to German beast” and “Death To Fascist Vile Creature!”

Rising Sun Setting

propaganda2_11(images via: King’s CollegeABCChinese Posters and WW2 Shots)

Here is a selection of unusual anti-Japanese propaganda imagery from the World War II. The curious British-made poster at top left warns of Japanese influence in… South America?

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Above is an example of Japanese propaganda directed at Australiandiggers fighting in New Guinea and the Pacific islands. Japan’s aim was to create a rift between Australia and the USA by sowing seeds of mistrust.

Propagating Propaganda

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Wartime propaganda is an equal opportunity endeavor – so is war itself – and the above selection of posters is proof. The striking air defense poster at above top left is from Finland; to its right is an anti-American poster issued by the French Communist Party and at top right, a Republican poster from the 1936 Spanish Civil War. Below those, from left to right are posters from Great Britain, Italy and Japan.

War often brings out the worst in humanity yet it can also bring out our best when people unite to defend their country, their families and their way of life from an opposing force who seeks their destruction. The same can be said about wartime propaganda – at worst it’s blatantly offensive, at best it can rally hearts and minds to a common cause.

Mark Reigelman’s Playful & Thought-Provoking Urban Art

30 Giu

As colorful as life in the city can be, things aren’t always rosy – especially in gloomy, grimy neighborhoods where everything seems to be hard, cold and monochromatic. But if artist Mark Reigelman had his way, we’d all go about our days a bit more cheerfully thanks to unexpected urban art installations that perch glass birds on telephone poles, turn fire hydrants into flower vases and transform bus stops into cozy homes.

After all, there’s something joyous about a bunch of flowers, however humble in their paper wrappings – which is why Reigelman chose to model his ‘wrap planters’ after exactly that shape. 18 of these curving concrete planters line the streets in Cleveland, making up one of his rare permanent installations. Reigelman prefers the spontaneity and freedom of temporary installations, but some are more fleeting than others, like the guerrilla redecorated bus shelter that was torn down by city workers the very next day.

“Some people call it being creative, other call it being crazy,”Reigelman told Inside Out. “I have always been creative(crazy) although I did not realize I could be creative(crazy) for a living until my junior year in high school. Once my art teacher told me, ‘Mark, you can do this as a career’, my whole life changed. I think my exact response was, ‘Ms. B, are you f#*@ing serious?!’”

In addition to urban installations, Reigelman creates gallery pieces that are equal parts product design and commentary – albeit tongue-in-cheek. His ‘Shadows’ series of stainless steel wall-mountedbookshelves in the shape that the books’ shadow would create is subtitled “Assigning Function to Shadows.” To “Happiness is a Warm Gun (Pillow)”, Reigelman adds “Bringing Comfort and Safety Into The Home.”

“Wit and humor are absolutely essential. Honestly, there is not a more important element in my work. Anyone can draw a chair and build the goddamn thing. It’s the intimate life and personality in my work that makes it unique. If you ever hear me in my studio laughing maniacally, chances are I am working on something particularly awesome.”