AK-47s? For World Peace? Come again? London-based photog and amnesty international award winner Bran Symondson is here make it happen. In collaboration with 23 of contemporary art’s prominent faces, Symondson is reinventing the decommissioned assault riffles from war-torn areas from around the world into works of some pretty badass and flowery art.
The list of notorious contributors includes Jake and Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst (like there was any chance he’d miss this one), Antony Gormley, Sam Taylor–Wood and Gavin Turk to name a few. The project will remain on display at the institute of contemporary arts in London through september 30th, after which it will be auctioned off at Howick Place on October 4th, with all the proceeds going to a charity that will save the world.
Symondson attributed the inspiration behind the series to his experiences as a war photographer:
While serving in Afghanistan and also returning as a photographer for the sunday times magazine, I used to see how the Afghan National Police (ANP) would sometimes adorn their AK47s with either colourful stickers, roses, or glitter tape. That’s where the seed was planted for the project. then one day, I was taking cover from incoming AK47 fire in a ditch with a young ANP lad sat next to me with a bloody rose at the end of [his gun]. I laughed and thought when or if I get home the irony of taking these things and turning them into art works has to be done.”