As the gun control debate continues, artists who have been expressing their opinions on the controversial subject for years are letting their work do the talking.
One such artist is Linda Lighton, whose gun sculptures explore the attraction and repulsion Americans have toward weapons. Balancing notions of freedom, glamour, devotion and danger, Lighton presents guns not as pure vehicles of evil but as complex, alluring and frightening objects.
".44 Magnum Mandala" (2011)
Lighton became involved in the gun control debate two years ago after her husband saw a six-person shootout one morning in Kansas City, MO. After this disturbing experience, she told the Kansas City Pitch, "Shouldn't we talk about [gun control]? How can we do it civilly?" The artist then began casting guns to create clay and porcelain models of the deadly weapons, which are on view at the Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art Gallery in Kansas City in a show titled, "Taking Aim."
Each piece took two to three months to create, according to Lighton's artist statement, with the more complex composite works taking up to a year to perfect. Her final creations incorporate religious iconography and cosmetic tools to twist the gun control debate into surprising new shapes.
See the slideshow below and let us know if and how Lighton's vision affects your perspective on guns in this country in the comments section.