Artist satirizes violent advertisements with bloody photo series


posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM EDT

Image by Jon Burgerman

Artist Jon Burgerman has taken a very different approach to critiquing the vast number of subway advertisements featuring people with weapons. In a brief series of photos called "Head Shots", Burgerman shows himself being killed by the weapons brandished by the protagonists of numerous TV and movie posters.

Talking to Yahoo! Movies, Burgerman explained some of his motives, saying:

"The idea for this project came to me for two reasons: 1 - With each reoccurring high-profile tragedy in the US involving shootings, I find myself being evermore paranoid and vigilant when I leave my apartment - my senses attuned to seeking out and avoiding any potential trouble.

Whilst on the look out for guns and violence in general, I've noticed there are some very obvious threats right under our noses, in plain view, for everyone to see. How have we missed these? Who are these people aiming at?

2 - I thought it would interesting to add myself back into the suggested scenes and complete the compositions to their natural conclusions.

This body of work is part of what I call a 'quiet intervention', where subtle, often cheap, nonpermanent actions drastically (and sometimes comically) alter the reading of a signifier, object or situation.

It's my belief that through these playful, creative acts, Art can act as an agent to change the world, by being the catalysis to allow people to change their worlds."

As the series shows, it's fairly common to see a movie or TV advertisement with a character pointing their weapon either directly at the viewer, or just slightly away. The question of "who are they pointing at?" is something of a poignant one. And by pointing this out in a rather tongue-in-cheek (and bloody) way, Burgerman does highlight to the large amount of violence that's implied by these posters.

(via the Gothamist, h/t Dan Havlik)

Image by Jon Burgerman
Image by Jon Burgerman