Will Squibb transforms guns from weapons into art by casting realistic facsimiles that, in his hands, become strange, organic, ceramic sculptures. The resultant forms provoke contemplation about their material presence and fetishization in American culture, as well as the complicated histories of objects of diminishing utility that travel and live across international borders indefinitely.
The malformed guns invite us to examine the design, form and implicit danger of fire-arms more intimately than most could do in their everyday lives. Many never see an UZI or AK-74 anywhere other than in film and television--in fact, each model is chosen precisely and named to reflect its role in American film iconography that make these objects so familiar. This proximity and intimacy allows us to reflect on both the undeniable allure, even beauty in the designs and to reflect on pressing issues such as gun proliferation, violence and glorification in a moment of heightened polarization and political stalemate on issues surrounding guns and gun regulation.
As a sculptor and video artist, Squibb is interested in animating the inanimate and using the implied movement of form to challenge our perception of danger. He explores the degrees of abstraction necessary for these objects to shift their menacing utility and impel reflection into the relationship between form and politics. The artist views this project as performative, an exercise mimicking mass production, mass consumption and the capitalist tendency to proliferate objects for purposes well beyond their original intention. He likes to refer to the guns as “floating signifiers,” the context integral to their meaning.
Each gun is cast in plaster molds and partially dried. Squibb then decides just how much distance he wants from the original form. After the soft clay guns are removed from their molds, he deliberately manipulates and deforms them by dropping them on the floor, bending them, twisting them and mangling them to his liking – ranging from slightly malformed, realistic Glock replicas, to surreal AR-15 contortions, to barely recognizable organically molten Colt Revolvers. He then fires all the new forms with black, gun metal and wood ceramic glazes to reinforce their material origins.
Will Squibb lives and works in Catskill, NY.
Price Range: $450-$1,200