One of the most highly-regarded artists currently under the age of 30, Lucien Smith is a name whose work people (and institutions) have been paying much attention to since he graduated Cooper Union. The NY-based youngster has kept a busy schedule in 2013 and while we await his Sept. exhibition at Salon 94 that is set to open in a few months, his explosive second show this year is currently up at Bill Brady KC. There are a few paintings that surround the installation, interacting and commenting on the work below, but the main focus of the exhibition is a collection of readymade sculptures Smith has secured and appropriated from the annual Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in Kentucky. Consisting of propane tanks, oil drums, automobile parts, and even a full-length truck, the metal objects have all been fired on by thousands of rounds of ammunition from handguns, assault rifles, fully automatic rifles, to a powerful Gatling Gun.

As opposed to some of Lucien Smith’s past popular series of work, where he uses paint to mimic rain or molding paste and enamel to create pies on canvas, he gets right to the point and uses real life objects that have been violated with horrifically potent instruments of death. Although we view and subsequently enjoy (especially during summer blockbuster movie season) this type of violence on screens and read about its tragic consequences in the news, few ever witness the results first hand and this re-contexualization of these spectacularly brutalized pieces directly confront the viewer’s complicity in their enjoyment of such entertainment and subsequently, the arguments set forth by gun control supporters.

Images via Bill Brady KC.
Discuss Lucien Smith here.