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).