By Caz Davidson on July 13, 2010

For artist Al Farrow, guns and bullets are tools for creation rather than destruction — and the medium for poignant statements about the relationship between religion and war.

"The man has a gun, he knows how to use it," trills Lou Reed in his song, "The Gun" — lyrics that are brought to mind by Al Farrow’s gun sculptures. Yet, while Brooklyn-born artist Al Farrow uses the weapon to very different ends than the man with the gun on Reed’s 1982 album, The Blue Mask, there’s no question he's got a good aim.

Farrow uses guns and other military paraphernalia to reconstruct churches, mosques and synagogues. By bringing together symbols of war and religion in this way, he refers to the complex and sometimes absurd relationship between war and faith.

No jingoist, Farrow’s interest in guns is, he says, “with their function and use. It is the ubiquitous presence, seeming necessity and actual accessibility of guns in our culture that inspires my investigation.”

With his sculptures formed from guns, bullets, shot, steel and miscellaneous antique artifacts, he has been amazed at the availability of gun-related materials.

Farrow, who has lived in San Francisco Bay area for more than 30 years, addresses with his sculptures of religious reliquaries the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs.

The beauty in his work reflects the tension between the ethereal, beautiful façades of religious edifices and the atrocities committed in the name of God.

Visit Al Farrow’s website here. Thanks to Catherine Clark Gallery for the images appearing in this article.

About the author

Learn more about Caz Davidson


There are no comments for this post yet

Articles by Caz Davidson

Seven Incredible Cigarette Art Pieces Portraying People and Animals

By Caz Davidson on May 11, 2011

Would you believe that stinking, old cigarette butts can be recycled and transformed into objects of esthetic beauty?

Dissected Street Maps Transformed into Human Bodies

By Caz Davidson on May 9, 2011

Discarded maps are given a new direction in the hands of artist Nikki Rosato.

The 45-Ton Mechanical Elephant That Thundered Through the Streets of London

By Caz Davidson on May 5, 2011

How Londoners fell for a robotic, three-story elephant created from junk.

Reuse Articles

Ten Quirky Ways to Repurpose Wine Corks

By Falesha Wojitysiak on July 22, 2014

Save those corks and unleash your creativity with these fun DIY recycled décor ideas.

Ten Incredibly Repurposed License Plates

By Falesha Wojitysiak on July 17, 2014

If you've moved or received new plates for your vehicle, what to do with the old ones? Look no further than these amazing reuse ideas.

Eleven Creatively Crafted Lamps

By Falesha Wojitysiak on July 15, 2014

Sometimes, to find a lamp that best suits your style, you have to get creative.

Current News

Recycling Profile: Augusta, GA

By 1-800-RECYCLING on July 25, 2014

Augusta encourages residents to recycle more and throw away less by giving them 95-gallon recycling carts and charging a premium for large trashcans.

Recycling Profile: San Jose, CA

By 1-800-RECYCLING on July 18, 2014

San Jose is looking to divert all of its waste in less than a decade. Could this be the country's first zero-waste city?

Recycling Profile: Eau Claire, WI

By 1-800-RECYCLING on July 11, 2014

Communities in wide-reaching Eau Claire County are paired together in a curbside program that services much of the northwest Wisconsin population base.