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Art: Happiness is a Warm Gun by Artist April
In this painting I tried to wrestle with conflicting issues and messages around guns. At the time it was painted, I was concerned about a report of increased gun sales since the attack on America 9-11-01. Despite my fairly liberal background which for most includes gun control, I found myself compelled by the notion that perhaps owning a gun might offer me some sense of security and safety in a time when I, perhaps like many of the gun buyers, was feeling very anxious and fearful. Focusing my thoughts particularly on women and other mothers, I began thinking of ways that a gun might fit into the life and world of an ordinary woman or mother who had previously been concerned primarily with issues mostly associated with women...femininity, beauty, home, fashion, etc. I began thinking of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and wondered how one could take a weapon made of steel and make it warm in this way vs. how the lyrics were actually meant. It was for this reason I used "feminine colors" ...colors actually pulled from some of my past paintings portraying domestic objects. In this way, I attempted to blur the boundaries between this object (the gun) and symbols one might associate with femininity, beauty, comfort and home. Similarly, the gasmasks in the background serve as mere decorative objects, such as a hat or home accessory might be, painted in similar colors.


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