SCULPTURE // GUNS
The concept of violence transformed into an art form is something profound… I love the idea.
—Victor Hugo Zayas
The sculptures Victor Hugo Zayas created for the Laguna Art Museum exhibition were once guns. In alchemy more remarkable than the mythical transformation of metal into gold, Zayas created sculptures that speak of the power of art to transform what were once instruments of death into new forms of beauty. The metal used to make these sculptures come from 2.24 tons of guns confiscated and shredded by LAPD. Some were used in crimes, some were found in search warrants, and some were illegally owned. The industrial shredder used to destroy the guns is so powerful it can shred an automobile in three seconds.
The raw materials were transported by a fully armed LAPD SWAT team, monitored overhead by an LAPD helicopter, to an undisclosed location. LAPD SWAT teams and property
officers monitored the entire process to ensure the guns were properly disposed of. They were then put in bags and lifted by a crane onto a conveyor belt, which brought the guns to the grinding machine. Next, the gun remnants were spread out on the ground by a massive and powerful magnet. Approximately twenty LAPD employees ensured that if any gun parts were found that looked like they could possibly be reused, they would be reground to make sure no useable guns or parts remained.