The last piece of this project will be called “Now that nobody sees us”. In it, I will use the second part of Los Caprichos where the deep dream happens. Where all the monsters, devils, witches and goblins appear. Where the darkest pleasures are on the surface, and all these creatures enjoy being nasty when nobody sees them.
For this piece, I want to achieve a cathartic moment. I’ve been working on this project for so long that the best way to finish it is to shoot at it and create a new artwork by doing so.
I have been researching about other artists using guns to create art. I started with William Boroughs and his series of Shotgun Paintings. Beyond writing, Boroughs was a prolific visual artist, whose obsession for pistols shaped his life entirely (he shot his wife in the face while attempting to do the William Tell challenge). In the late stages of his career, he started a series of paintings shooting at cans of spray placed on boards (he also shot at authors’ portraits such as Shakespeare).
I have also been reading about Chris Burden’s performance titled “Shot”. Chris Burden wanted to criticise the Vietnam war by creating a performance to shock audiences and the art world. He asked another artist and friend to shoot him in the arm to represent what happens to the people that the US was sending to die. He recorded this performance in video. It only lasts 8 seconds.
Niki de Saint Phalle created a whole series of collages and paintings based on shooting. In her case, she used big canvases with objects glued on them and painted them in white. She placed bags with colourful paint on the canvases, like the cans of Borroughs. After that, Niki de Saint Phalle shot at the bags, blowing them up, and making the paint to drip, like colourful blood.
Bayeté Ross Smith did a different project. He invited some curators to a shooting event in a shooting range. As Brian Boucher describes, after doing some tests, the artist asked us to put a picture of us on the target and shoot the picture. the mixture of playfulness, wrongdoing and the questions that the artist raises are fascinating.
To end, Jane Hilton made this book about the targets on shooting ranges in Los Angeles. Although this work is slightly different, the beauty of its design hooked me.
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Pistols in the UK.
But the majority of the artists mentioned above are from the United States, where the laws are very permissive with pistols. In the UK there are big restrictions on guns. That made me think about a way to find a way to create a new painting with an infantile gun. That brought me to Paintball guns.
But shooting at the etchings is not enough. I want to recreate a scene that has 2 sides. A bright side and a dark side.
For this, I have been experimenting with glowing ink for a long time. I am very interested in its (almost) invisibility.