Robert Longo's new sculpture is a Death Star of 40,000 bullet casings

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That’s pretty awesome. Looking forward to including it in my contemporary art class.


Bullets don’t kill people! Bad guys with bullets kill people! Or careless gun owners. Or toddlers who thought a gun was a toy. Or angry teens! Or cops who think you’re really scary! Or…


Seems like it is more than just the casings, the bullets are there too. I wonder if he drained the gunpowder out of each one? Or is that thing a huge fire hazard?


From the article:

We had to buy casings and the tips and a loader, and we had to put the bullets together


It’s cartridges (bullet plus casing) rather than just casings.

  1. Pretty cool design. I would be curious to see the core before they attached the rounds.

  2. Reminds me of this sculpture at the Vatican. I called it “The Pope’s Death Star” when I saw it.:

  1. Will they let it patina and allow it to dull as brass and copper will, or did they put a coating on them?

“We had to buy casings and the tips and a loader, and we had to put the bullets together,” he says. “But we did buy 40,000 bullets, and nobody came knocking on my door, saying, ‘What are you going to do with these 40,000 bullets?’ Gunpowder’s not so hard to make, you know? I was a bit shocked that I was able to do that.”

Mmm - smokeless powder is harder to make vs black powder (typically not used in modern fire arms). But do you know what is even easier to make? Cast lead bullets. :confused: He’d probably be shocked to know I know people who load thousands of round per year due the their massive consumption of ammo to train and compete in USPSA and similar shooting sports.


Smokeless Powder isn’t that hard to buy either. Thousands of reloaders buy it every year.

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Presumably he went somewhere like Cabellas where you can find the bullet assembly equipment and supplies out in the open. It’s not like they hide this stuff.

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Great sculpture. Yes, calling it casings is deceiving. Especially when your assembling a bullet. And its not a tip, its a projectile.

yea, I get the feeling that the artist was not very familiar with ammunition.

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Personally, I think that’s A Good Thing…


It isn’t really relevant for most people, but if you’re going to construct some massive sculpture with it, it may behoove you to know the basic nomenclature of the parts you use. Especially if you are trying to talk about the process and objects used :confused:

Though I guess it could have been more off base if he had gone off this popular shirt:

Fair point!

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You’re doing it, again.

The artist probably cared way less about proper firearm and ammo nomenclature than he did about the actual message he was trying to convey:

40,000 people were shot last year in the US.

That’s the point of this topic. Also, that’s some flawed logic there; I seriously doubt the dude who paints in elephant dung had to become a ‘certified expert’ in animal excrement in order for his work to have meaning, or for it to be valued by the art community.


Yes, that was what I was hinting at: that it’s good that people don’t have personal experience of firearms and hence the precise terminology. Personally, I really don’t care whether it’s a cartridge, shell, bullet or aardvark.

Though as I acknowledge, in this context it does make sense for the artist to have done a little research. :wink:


Agreed. Nevertheless the term “casing” is clearly misleadingly describing the charakter and surface of the sculpture. Any sculpturer should really be into the material he is using for a specific piece of work. Saying this as an artist, not as a gun nut.

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