Artist: Viktor Mitic
Medium: Paint | Firearms
The Peach Gallery Exhibit: Bullet Proof | April 4th, 2013
Viktor Mitic is a Serbian-born Canadian painter and sculptor living in Toronto, Ontario. He is best known for incorporating firearms in his art, a skill he acquired during national service in his native Yugoslavia. Because art and violence coexist in an inexplicable way, Mitic says his art highlights the absurdity and senselessness of gun violence, but at the same time he transforms these acts into art. One of his most notable works, the Blasted Beaverbrook, was commissioned for exhibition in 2009 by New Brunswick’s provincial gallery, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
Mitic incorporates guns into his art with the intention of provoking conversation about the gun violence that permeates our culture: “I don’t think guns should exist…[they’re] made to kill and to destroy.” But now, rather than guns eradicating, Mitic repurposes them to create art. And although Mitic does not consider himself an anti-gun activist, he lets the viewers figure out what to do about guns.
Some of Mitic’s more controversial works includes famous celebrities whose lives were cut short due to gun violence. These include Mahatma Gandhi and John F. Kennedy. The artist has also rendered portraits of Jesus Christ, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne and Chairman Mao, all of which are riddled with bullet holes. Mitic’s portrait of John Lennon, in fact, was created using the same gun Lennon was killed with.
Mitic’s “gun-art” has generated both interest and outrage amongst audiences and galleries.