We here in America are fascinated with guns. Despite harsh realities of every day violence that are inflicted upon us by those who wield them, we still look at them in a heroic and romanticized light. The past several generations of men have been raised on a diet of machismo and jingoism, fed to us by the media and eagerly gobbled up by impressionable youth. In a world where displays of emotion are a sign of weakness and military conflicts are excitedly sold to us via network news, the gun has become the ultimate symbol of both freedom and strength.
Our pop culture and media are heavily saturated with them, as diplomacy happens with the business end of a rifle and justice can be dispensed six bullets at a time. From movies to video games, we love our guns.
Who could forget the slogan “Say Hello to my little friend” as our imaginations conjure images of a machine gun and a volley of bullets, or an explosion of light and color from a Ghostbuster’s Proton Pack? The heroes that wield these death dealers forever imbue them into our imaginations as the tools of the Just and Righteous, and are the real star of the show.
To test this idea, I showed pictures of these guns to people without a name or context to support them, and immediately everyone recognized the gun I had shown them.
Each painting in this series will illustrate each gun from their most recognizable angle, the profile. This will be a general guideline and not a strict rule, as I will still attempt to breathe life into these inanimate objects as they are shown either moments just before or just after use. This will serve as a narrative device and leave the viewer thinking about the “vignette” of events that are possibly taking place in the painting.