Stumbled across this artist at the UCLA Reggae Fest this year and he was doing his thang w| live art! My sister ended up purchasing a beautiful painting of his which has been a great addition to her home décor and art.
His use of guns within his paintings is perceived by I and hopefully others with a positive lens and this is what my sister got from the piece she purchased:
The gun as destroyer of beauty or conversely, the beauty/flowers as tamer/regulator of destructive forces, I see a more symbolic struggle taking place involving 2 seemingly disparate entities that are nonetheless, fashioned from the same (black) generative seeds. If flowers can be imagined as earth’s most culturally legible emblem of beauty/beauty-in-production, & guns, a most universal emblem of peoples’ attempt to harness power over that production, I’m inclined to see in your painting a lesson about “pulling ourselves up out of our own graves” to “look at the time” (lil Lupe infusion).
I.e., i read the flowers as a reminder that ppl, as products — & not manufacturers — of the cosmos, must not conceive of our place in terms of power-over, but instead as protectors of the beauty & wonder to which we are inextricably connected.
Since the gun is not separate from the flower cluster, & both appear to be fashioned from blackness (the background), i see in this painting a statement about the nature of origins: not just that ‘everything is everything’ but specifically that black nothingness is the context out of which both life & death spring. Since both guns & flowers have particular relationships to death (& the spectacle of death) in all cultures (1 may see u to it while arguably either may see your spirit through it), i read the background & proximity of both to 1 another as a contemplation of nature’s demand 4 recentralization. Nature’s blackness may produce artifacts of questionable utility from time to time but of the same womb was born the boldness of delicate flowers creeping in to offset the gun’s centrality.
Tony Concep has an impressing resume and continues to add to his one of a kind collection.
Visit his site @ http://www.tonyconcep.com
xx be sure to follow him on Instagram @TONYCONCEP