Monday, July 29, 2013

Ralph Ziman Mural in Venice Beach

M&F first posted this new mural in Venice a few weeks ago with a feature entitled 'Yarned and Dangerous'.  It turns out that our guess was close to the theme, and we just got sent over this information explaining the motivations that went into the piece, the amount of work it took to create the final product, and how the locals themselves got involved in the project.

Dig it.  Impressive piece with a message.  Check out the information below, and click the jump to scope more pics of this new mural from Ralph Ziman in Venice Beach:

Part of an extensive series of works, this mural deals with
the international arms trade and Africa: a trade that for the
most part only goes in one direction.  Into Africa.
I had six Zimbabwean artists use traditional African beads and wire to  manufacture several hundred replica bead/guns like AK-47s, as well as
several replica bead/general purpose machine guns (GPMGs), along with the ammunition. 
In response to the guns sent into that culture, the mural represents an aesthetic, anti-lethal cultural response, a visual export out of Africa.   And the bead/guns themselves, manufactured in Africa, are currently being shipped to the USA and Europe.     
This bead/arms project provided six months full time work for half a dozen craftsman who got well deserved break from making wire animals for tourists.
The completed bead/guns were the subject of a photo-shoot in crime ridden downtown Johannesburg.  The subjects were the artists who made the guns, several construction workers who happened to witness the shoot, and a member of the South African Police Services who just wanted his picture taken.
The mural is mixed media, wheat paste, dye, acrylic spray-paint and ink on wood.  This mural is the first in a series to be put up in LA. 

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