Ellwood T. Risk, ‘Trigger Happy’, 2012, Robert Berman Gallery
Ellwood T. Risk, ‘Trigger Happy’, 2012, Robert Berman Gallery
Ellwood T. Risk, ‘Trigger Happy’, 2012, Robert Berman Gallery

We are, all of us, Targets in one way or another.

Even before we are old enough to understand them in any meaningful way, or the role they will play in our lives; we are targeted by social norms, religions, various forms of print and electronic media, corporations, advertisers, and governments.

None of us are exempt from exposure to these fixed cultural elements of our existence, or the means by which they attempt to impose their will upon us.

A word about the process.

These works are made with standard police training targets that I have taken to the range and fired on. Some have been stained with coffee, wine, and paint that has been diluted with water.

I use several types of backdrops for the work. Magazine print, news print, and the back side of targets that have been previously stained and dried before being applied to the panel.

The female targets are made by working from photographs I’ve taken of models posing with my guns.

Generally, a backdrop is laid in first and the actual target, with or without bullet holes, is then placed into the body of the piece.

Additional work with oil sticks, paint, ink, and stencils brings the piece to a state of resolution. Completion time varies depending on the nature and size of a given piece. Some works have taken weeks and even months to complete while others have been executed in the course of a twelve hour day.

I most always work from an intuitive perspective as it relates to all aspects of composition and subject matter. More often than not I come to an understanding of the work after it has been completed, and ask my audience to interpret each piece for themselves so as not to be hindered or influenced by my intentions.

Thank you for viewing my work, and I hope you enjoy it.

Ellwood T. Risk
Los Angeles

About Ellwood T. Risk