The Gun and Knife Show
this spring was relevant, but its relevance didn't get in the way of its looking nice. The show was conceptual, but the work made a strong impression at first glance -- you could love it or hate it first and think about why later. It was funny and tongue-in-cheek at moments, but it was also sincere and even troubling at times. Because the subject matter was so carefully streamlined -- all of it focused on artists' feelings about guns and knives -- the wide array of work made for a show that was rich and vibrant, not scattered and incoherent. It was also full of work by some unbelievably talented people, most of whom have been working long enough to have honed their skills. The precise, professionally crafted and plain old badass work in Gun and Knife Show
ranged from (real!) Hello Kitty bullets to a framed letter from Charlton Heston in defense of the Second Amendment to a comfy chair with guns printed on the pillows. One gun had "I Love You" etched into its barrel. A stuffed, dead baby deer could be seen under Plexiglas, glitter making its nose look moist. There also were affectionate portraits of someone's gun-loving neighbors. Perspectives on the right to bear arms varied. Choice of scale and materials varied. But quality and originality were constant.