Bearing It All: Up Close and Personal With the Most Popular Handguns

SMITH & WESSON K-38The brainchild of Canada-based photographer Peter Andrew and Creative Directors Simon Duffy and Derek Blais, The Point Blank project shoots handguns in close-up, portrait-style, and straight down the barrel. In doing so, the project creates large-scale, extremely detailed, and uncomfortably in-your-face frontal photographs. The images have a jarring beauty in the symmetry of design, the depth-of-field, and the level of detail—all the more powerful for their implicit violence. These subjects have, quite literally, the power to kill. They began the project in May 2011, and hope to publish a book. The series won an award in the 2013 Communication Arts and Applied Arts Photography Annuals and has been exhibited at Klaus Nienkamper in Toronto.

.357 magnum

Maïa Booker: How did you join forces for this project?

The Point Blank Project: As creatives, you are always trying to look for projects to collaborate on. As a group, we’ve always been fascinated by pistols and what they represent; ultimate power and personal protection. We wanted to study them as you would study a human face. We were initially fascinated by Robert Longo’s Bodyhammers charcoal drawings—but wanted to see a realistic version.

Beretta 9mm

MB: What made you want to adapt Robert Longo’s work into photo-form?

PBP: Although Longo’s drawings are beautiful, we really wanted to see deeper into the barrel, so to speak.

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