Something for Everyone

Steel, Flock
350 cm x104 cm

The Kalashnikov or AK-47 (standing for Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947) was invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov and has had what could be considered an illustrious trajectory in becoming first the standard issue rifle for the Russian military and then exported en masse to cold war battlegrounds in the middle east and especially Africa.

In some countries, Mozambique for example, it is seen as a key element in their struggle against colonialism and imperialism and was even adopted as an image on their flag on May 1st 1983 (Recent years have seen a sharp debate to have it removed). Kalashnikov has been quoted that he is proud that for many his invention is synonymous with liberty, he has also stated that it was Germany’s fault that he became a fabricator of arms otherwise he would have happily stayed an agricultural engineer which was what he was previous to being drafted into the Red Army during WWII.

As for the name I’ve given the piece, Something for Everyone, it has to do with this type of work which I feel leaves no one indifferent. I start with concern/interest in the composition of the object but ultimately am also aware of it’s socio-political as well as historical significance. As far as scale is concerned I was due for a big one. This piece should not be confused as a pro arms stance or celebration of the weapon itself but more an opportunity for reflection.

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