Please take a moment to check out my newest print “Mary Kali” released by Poster Child Prints
Size: 18 x 24 inches
Materials: Six-color silkscreen on French 100% cotton archival paper.
Signed by Ravi Zupa
Numbered and Embossed
Exclusive to PCP, validated by a Certificate of Authenticity
In Ravi Zupa’s hands, the oxymoron of a thinking man’s gun becomes a reality. His is an artillery of words and knowledge. For the last several years, the self-taught, multidisciplinary artist has been transforming the levers, keys, and ribbon spools of typewriters into weapons. His Mightier Than series of repurposed sculptures do not destroy, rip flesh from bone, or take away. Rather, they aim to contribute and inject. Even the ammunition Zupa crafts—“pen bullets,” used machine gun cartridges filled with pens and pencils—flip the old adage of “the pen is mightier than the sword” right on its head. The sculptures register at gut level first, equal parts meditation and raw counterattack.
On the occasion of his participation in a new group show, A Primitive Future at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles, Zupa recently shared his time and insight with us regarding the evocative sculptures. – READ MORE
“IT WILL BE A HARD DAY”
Much has been written about the feminist themes that run through “Mad Max Fury Road”. It’s worth giving some attention to some of the others too.
At one point a character named the “People eater” opens his ledger where he has carefully recorded the heavy expenditures of this short war. “We’re down 30,000 units of Gasoline, 19 canisters of Nitro, 12 assault bikes, 7 pursuit vehicles And now sir, you have us stuck in a quagmire” This he says while the wheels of their vehicles are stuck in an actual quagmire.
Soon after, a character named “The Bullet Farmer” who wears a bandoleer of 50 caliber bullets draped on his head like a judge’s powdered wig is sent to safely retrieve the “assets” (the women that are the entire reason for this expensive war) and after loosing his vision he fires two identical machine guns at them with indiscriminate abandon. “I am the scales of Justice. Conductor of the choir of death.” This he shouts while wearing the same blindfold that Lady Justice wears.
To me the most compelling and carefully hidden theme is that of non-violence. More specifically a forceful and powerful form of non-violence. When Splendid is handed a weapon and urgently ordered to reload it. She looks down at the gun resting on her pregnant belly and she hesitates and says that she can’t. The moment passes quickly and another woman impatiently takes over making Splendid seem inept or overwhelmed. She is neither of these however (evidenced moments later when she uses her own body and the life of her fetus as a shield to protect her companions). Rather, she is taking a profound ethical stance. A refusal to carry out violence at any level, even the justifiable act of loading a gun that will be fired by someone else. A refusal that a pregnant woman might very well be entitled to.
This film has, like other great pieces, transcended the confines of genre fiction and earned a seat as a fine art masterpiece. Not unlike “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Slaughterhouse 5” (the book only).
“It Will Be A Hard Day” is my way of giving a shout out to such an accomplishment. It describes yet another theme in the film. I’ve used the overly dramatic poses and the line sensibilities of German Renaissance print artists like Albrecht Durer and Hans Holbein.
I hope you enjoy it.
Ravi Zupa makes weapons for a war of words. His mock machine guns and semi-automatic rifles are recycled from parts of pre-electric typewriters that he collects, dismantles and welds back together. His bullets are concocted from pencil stubs and the pointy nibs of fountain pens.
His objects are intimidating and toy-like at the same time. They don”t actually fire — they”re art pieces. meant to evoke guns and their multiple implications — but they have chambers and barrels and triggers and, when you hold one, you sense the weight and sturdiness of an instrument built to kill.
And they look real enough to warrant recent attention from the Englewood Police Department. When Zupa”s dealers were packing up a crate of them last week to ship to an art fair in Miami, neighbors took notice and alerted authorities, who hurried to the scene.
READ MORE HERE
SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is pleased to present A Primitive Future, an exhibition featuring new work by AJ Fosik, Ben Venom, Frohawk Two Feathers, Haroshi, Lucien Shapiro, and Ravi Zupa.
A Primitive Future focuses on the cultural, social, economic, and guiding principles of past versus future belief systems and practices. How do we determine right and wrong or acceptable and unacceptable in both the aesthetics of art and in societal behavior? How will colonialism take shape in the future? How has craft morphed with the everyday and become timeless? Has society in general become more “civilized” or are we the same just in different form? What can the future look like?
The selected artists touch on some of the above questions through form, subject matter, or both. More importantly, they question the conventional idea of what the (conflicted) term primitive means or is associated with. The late 19th century deemed ‘primitive art’ as simplistic in form and color and lacking in linear perspective and depth. This style was eventually adopted by well-known French and German artists and embraced for its honesty, spontaneity and emotional charge. In the visual arts, it stood for a rejection of the corrupt values of the West, perpetuated by the effects of industrialization and the Great War. However the term primitive, when used in an anthropological context, applied to ‘early’ cultures but was often interpreted as meaning savage or inferior. Today, that interpretation is highly criticized as narrow minded, inconsistent, and indicative of people’s inability to self-reflect.
MORE INFO AND ARTWORK HERE