kitsch guns

antonio riello’s ladies weapons

Guns by Antonio Riello

This is definitely not street tech, but an artist appropriating the aesthetical appropriation of weapons for his own expressive ends. Italian artist Antonio Riello [of whom I couldn’t find an own site on the Web, but about whom I have read at diverse pages that he was born in Kabul, Rio de Janeiro, and Marostica, Italy] has peculiar interests: “Since the beginning of his artistic career,” Hoard Magazine wrote in 2001, “he wanted to be a social reporter investigating his immediate environment. He is particularly interested in the “dark sides” of Italian contemporary life.”

Rifles by Antonio Riello

The background of his “Ladies Weapons”, displayed here are all of them I could find on the Web, Riello describes like this:

In 1998 I decided to focus my artistic research mainly about a “fashion-fiction” visual story regarding an old passion of mine: weapons—objects full of symbolic senses. I want to mix, in an artistic way, traditional ‘female stuff’ like fashion with very traditional ‘male stuff’ like guns. It consists in a restyling of real military weapons into fashion items for ladies. […] Using leopard skins, brightly lacquered colors, inset jewels and fake furs, I create a range of specialized items for wives of mafia bosses, arms dealers, sophisticated ladies and exigent soldiers….hybrids born from Italian obsession for high fashion as well as for violence.

Maybe the recently issued pimp-style gold and silver Razr cellphone by Dolce & Gabbana appeals to a matching clientele ;-)

Kalashnikovs by Antonio Riello

Riello’s artefacts remind me of the MP5k over and over engraved with traditional gun-ornaments, of Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti’s gold-plated assault- and sniper-rifles [see ↵golden guns], of the countless weapons [selection] endo modelled for Max-Payne modifications, among them fine decorated specimens as well, of the decorated guns in Buz Luhrmann’s 1996 movie “Romeo + Juliet”—or was it Andrzej Bartkowiak’s 2000 “Romeo must die”?—and of car-modding Chicano-style in general.

More guns by Antonio Riello

Riello paints weapons as well, but I take the ladies weapons to be more impressive. Especially as they strive to voice an emic cultural insight: “Italians have two great passions,” says Riello, “on the one hand, we like costly, lavish things. But at the same time we have this morbid attraction for violence and for blood.” In today’s world, Fabergé eggs look accordingly …

Grenades by Antonio Riello

initially via entry at boinboing

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