Guns in the Hands of Artists

Guns in the Hands of Artists

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In the 1990s, the New Orleans murder rate exploded. In 1996, 350 people were killed--the highest number in the city's history, and the highest rate in the nation. In response to this crisis, gallery owner and artist Jonathan Ferrara and artist Brian Borrello, launched a powerful project: Guns in the Hands of Artists. Over sixty artists, including painters, glass artists, sculptors, photographers, and poets, used decommissioned guns taken off the city streets via a gun buyback program to express a thought, make a statement, open a discussion, and to stimulate thinking about guns and gun violence in America. As gun violence continues to devastate the nation on a daily basis, Guns in the Hands of Artists reemerged in 2012 as a community-based social activist art project that has since traveled to six cities across the US. Using art as a mirror for life and interweaving the works of thirty diverse artists with the voices of seventeen national thought leaders, this book is an important outgrowth of the exhibition and an extension of its efforts to employ art as a vehicle for dialogue, as a call to action, and--ultimately--as an agent of change. Essays by: Walter Isaacson, Senator Tim Kaine, Lupe Fiasco, Richard Ford, Joe Nocera, Trymaine Lee, Lolis Eric Elie, John M. Barry, Dan Cameron, Lucia McBath, Harry Shearer, Jonathan Ferrara, Brian Borrello, Maria Cuomo Cole, Michael Waldman, E. Ethelbert Miller, Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 214 pages
  • 231 x 277 x 25mm | 1,134g
  • San Francisco
  • English
  • 1941758711
  • 9781941758717

Review quote

"In his new book, Ferrara brings a hauntingly beautiful new perspective to the national conversation about gun violence in America and how we understand it. This smart collection of brilliant artists and voices reimagines the devastating violence that cuts through the fabric of society, while paying homage to the hope that drives those of us in this movement every day. Guns in the Hands of Artists is required reading for anyone looking to shift the American gun violence discussion from one rooted in debate, to one striving for solutions." Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
"This important work of art and essays will help you think about guns in a more profound way." Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and former chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time magazine
"Art is ultimately about a process of transformation, and Guns in the Hands of Artists makes that case through the passion and conviction of its artists. Beginning with the pile-up of homicides on the mean streets of New Orleans, this book and the exhibition it documents end up making a potent argument for handing artists the opportunity to turn the instruments of our pain and bewilderment into objects of awareness and hope. These are not prescriptions for future laws, but rather blueprints for wielding the power of the artistic imagination to fully confront our waking nightmares." Dan Cameron, former senior curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, founder of Prospect New Orleans, and curator for the thirteenth Bienal de Cuenca, Ecuador, 2016
"Transcends politics reminding us of the devastating human cost of gun violence and inspiring us to take take action." Maria Cuomo Cole, award-winning filmmaker who works on gun violence, homelessness, and sexual violence issues, and longtime chair of HELP USA
"Guns in the Hands of Artists is by far one of the most critical works of today. As a gun violence prevention lobbyist and activist these works of art and the corresponding essays paint the truest narrative of America's grievous love affair with guns." Lucia McBath (mother of Jordan Davis), national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and faith community outreach organizer at Everytown for Gun Safety
"Solving the problem of gun violence will take not just political will, but real creativity. Putting Guns in the Hands of Artists in the hands of politicians would be a great start." Lolis Elie, award-winning writer, journalist, and documentary filmmaker
"A fresh book on a too-familiar topic." The Times-Picayune"
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Rating details

11 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 36% (4)
4 45% (5)
3 9% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 9% (1)
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