Artist Robert Longo has created Death Star II, a stunning sphere made with a bullet for each gun death in the US. It premiered at Art Basel this week (photos below).
It isn’t until viewers draw much closer to the shimmering surface that they see its alluring, illuminated topography consists of polished copper shell casings. About 40,000 of them, to be more precise—roughly one bullet for each gun death in the US last year.
Co-presented by Metro Pictures and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Death Star 2018 is the result of Longo asking himself a very specific question about firearm-inflicted violence in America: “How do you give this insane statistical abstraction that is as brutal as it is a material form?”
At the same time, brutality is not Longo’s endgame. “This piece is not so much about shock and awe,” he says. “It’s more about creating some kind of beauty out of something that’s quite horrible, and at the same time hoping that it will make you personally [think], ‘What am I going to do about this [the gun problem]?'”
• Motivated by ‘Rage and Hopelessness,’ Robert Longo Takes Aim at American Gun Violence in an Epic Work for Art Basel (Tim Schneider / Artnet)
Image: Brett Hondow
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