BP in bullets: the art of Moses Nornberg


The art of Moses Nornberg. In this piece, the BP logo is re-created in bullets. From a series of similar treatments of oil company logos (Shell, Exxon, and others, all bullet-ized). Larger image and detail shots follow.




Images courtesy of the artist, and Robert Berman Gallery (which represents Nornberg) at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA.


  1. That’s actually quite beautiful.

    I wonder if there’s powder or primer in those cartridges or if they’re dummies?

  2. Cartridges. Bullets are the part that go flying down the barrel. A bullet and casing together with powder and primer is a cartridge.

  3. I don’t mean to be pedantic and I’m sure it’s been remarked on plenty of times before but they haven’t been called British Petroleum since 2001 after the merger with American oil company Amoco in 1998.
    Most of BP’s employees are Americans and as many Americans hold shares in it as Brits.
    Just seems a bit pointed when its referred to as British Petroleum, nationality has nothing to do with it.

    1. “they haven’t been called British Petroleum since 2001”

      Yeah, I’ve noticed how US reporters have been very careful to emphasise that it’s BRITISH oil hitting the beaches, like all these redcoats just dropped anchor off the coast and started poisoning the wells.

    1. Exactly. I mean I get it, BP screwed up. We’ve dependent on oil, which is like bullets in a gun. I _guess_ the bullets are evil or something, though I don’t draw that association, since I think it’s pretty banal and cliched.

      This is a pretty brain dead piece of art. It’s clearly topical, easily done, and designed to get people to respond.

      It’s like the guy busking in the street playing Beatles tunes on a kazoo.

    2. I can’t speak to “what the message is,” because I’m not the artist, but you should note that these works were created well before the current crisis. I believe in 2008? The image posted here was part of a show in San Francisco in January, 2010.

      This is not art created in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster specifically.

  4. Those look like 7.62×39 cartridges, the same as used in the AK-47.

    A logical choice, since they’re reasonably affordable in bulk, and high-context.

    Can anyone confirm?

  5. I read this oil spill is only the third largest environmental threat in the gulf. When the oil is gone in a couple of years (based on experiences with Ixtoc 1), the overfishing with bottom damaging and overfertilizing bottom killing will still be around.

  6. These photos have a real trippy animation effect as you scroll through them, going in both directions. It’s the most awesome part!

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