The weight of bullets, a great concept behind Robert Longo’s sculpture

The last sculpture designed by Robert Longo is named “Death Star 2018”. The main concept is to represent the weight of bullets, using beauty as a tool to show us the ugly.

Artist Robert Longo is already in the art history books for unbelievably realistic charcoal drawings of intense imagery – from massive crashing waves to contorted “Men in Cities”.  His newest work, on view at Metro Pictures this month, is a rare detour from his signature two-dimensional medium. A single sculpture titled “Death Star 2018” covered in 40,000 bullets hangs in the middle of the gallery. Measuring over 6 feet in diameter, it weighs 3,800 lbs.

Longo is unflinchingly direct with his art and his words and is a master of balancing his often-grave subject matter with sublime beauty and extreme precision. In Longo’s own words, “You don’t want to preach, you want to seduce.”

Though visually spectacular, “Death Star 2018” holds a gut-churning representation of life in America today. Every bullet represents a life lost to gun violence in the United States. It’s an “update” to his 1993 work by the same name, which held less than half the bullets (18,000 bullets).

A video on the gallery’s website shows the high-tech fabrication process with interview clips from the artist and founder of Neoset Designs in Brooklyn, Kostas Papalexious. The following are a few of the most surprising parts about that process from the 6 minute video (which you should watch in full here).

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