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.