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An In-Your-Face Look at Handguns from Around the World

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Smith and Wesson .38 revolver

Guns have a massive amount of power associated with them. They are designed to kill. We decided to photograph portraits of them in a similar way you might photograph a powerful person. Like powerful people, pistols have this ‘perfect’ quality that we wanted to explore. As we started shooting them, we could see flaws in their design. Metal burring around the barrels, scratches in the metal. This imperfection and detail were very interesting to us; connecting us back to these images as ‘portraits’.

We also loved the impossible perspective these portraits provided. Typically, when you see a gun at this range and perspective it’s usually seconds before the pistol is fired. This makes it very hard to examine at point blank range. As the viewer, you want to lean in and see the detail; but at the same time it’s very uneasy to be as close as you are to the barrel of a gun.—Peter Andrew

Point Blank is an ongoing series of handguns from around the world by Toronto-based photographer Peter Andrew, Simon Duffy and Derek Blais. Captured in extreme detail, the large-scale ‘portraits’ are undeniably in-your-face, lending an intensity you can’t turn away from. Andrew says they are meant to be studied like you would a face, the detail and imperfections found within building a story that make us wonder where they’ve been or why and how they’ve been used. The trio has photographed seven handguns thus far and continue to build the collection. The project was recently featured in the 2013 Communication Arts Photography Annual.

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Desert Eagle

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Uzi

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Glock

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Smith and Wesson 9mm

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Rhino

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Beretta

  • http://asabharwal.com Akhilesh Sabharwal

    Intense indeed. But examining these as portraits, I felt that the revolver is the one with a standout personality. The rest seemed to be like the faceless within a crowd.

  • Michael S

    Really visceral feeling even jsut looking into the barrel of the picture. Great idea for a project. Reminds me of the AIDS contaminated blood in plastic squirt guns project in glass cases, I know it can’t hurt me, but the feelings of fear are still there.

  • EK

    While this is interesting to look at, it’s almost an exact ripoff from Robert Longo’s Bodyhammers series from 1993!!!

    http://www.robertlongo.com/portfolios/1024

    …and his were incredibly detailed drawings, not just photographs.

  • Therese M

    It is just another manipulative gesture pretending to be art which will ultimately only serve to further desensitize us to guns. I am really upset that I have “Stumble(d)” upon this grouping but I am certain the gun manufacturers are thrilled. Ugh.

  • http://www.pointblankproject.com Derek Blais

    @EK

    The images are a photographic ode to Robert Longo’s Body Hammers charcoal drawings. We say in a number of interviews that we wanted to explore the stark realism behind his gun drawings and pick up where Longo left off. His charcoal drawings automatically romanticize the guns due to their medium. Our photographs highlight the immense detail and confront the viewer with the stark reality of the weaponry without any filter.