Gun artwork banned from US

A series of contemporary artworks have been denied entry to the Texas state and have been seized by customs at Texas Airport, it has been reported.
Made from decommissioned assault rifles (AK-47), the artworks were created by British artist and military veteran Bran Symondson.
The artworks were bound and en route to Houston, where they were to be exhibited at a local gallery. However, the works titled ‘Spoils of War’, ‘Beat of a Wing’ and ‘Virtue of the Vicious’ – all guns covered in $1 bills and butterflies – have all been banned from entering the US.
This decision comes despite the state of Texas exercising a ‘open carry’ law that allows citizens to openly carry shotguns and rifles in a non-threatening manner.
In 2011, the art works were created for a show called ‘AKA Peace’, where Mr Symondson asked a number of renowned artists such as Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk and Sarah Lucas to decorate the riffles that were taken from war-torn countries.
Artist Bran Symondson has previously served in Afghanistan and now works as a reportage photographer and artist. He claims that the guns for the art were captured on their way from Afghanistan to Syria and were no longer able to be used as dangerous weapons.
But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives firmly denied entry of the 2011 Amnesty International Media Award winner’s AK-47s, stating that they would not be allowed into the US.
“It is ironic that the law permits US citizens to go and buy a new, live weapon which I could, in theory, use to create one of my artworks from, which then could technically be used in its intended form but will not allow my pieces of harmless art into the country,” argued Mr Symondson.
According to the artist, the ‘Virtue of the Vicious’ art piece features clear 7.62 empty rounds, each holding a filing representation of the history of the Texas state. It includes a yellow rose petal that symbolises the yellow rose of Texas, as well as a pink cloth with a blood stain to represent the jacket Jackie Onassis wore when former president and husband John F Kennedy was assassinated.
There is currently no information on when the artworks will be released, or if they will be taken back to the UK.
The works were previously held at Maddox Gallery in London which came under fire earlier this year after displaying a nude painting of Donald Trump by artist Illma Gore, titled ‘Make America Great Again’ and was banned in the States.
“Having experienced action whilst serving in Afghanistan, and seeing how Afghan police adorned their AK47’s with roses and stickers, I wanted to turn the most iconic weapon in the world from one of fear and unrest to one of beauty and intrigue,” said Mr Symondson.