Ralph Ziman, ‘Mabara Ako "Your Bullets" (Shona) ’, 2013, Sulger-Buel Lovell

Ziman created the multi faceted body of work Ghosts as a direct response to an examination of the international arms trade, specifically on the African continent where the AK-47 has proliferated widely, fuelling and sustaining the conflict across the continent. Ziman collaborated with six Zimbabwean artists to create hundreds of faux brightly beaded AK-47’s and ammunition out of wire and traditional glass beads. The resulting photographs created highly alluring, aesthetically dramatic and unsettling compositions; a subversion of the stereotypical visual perception. The figures ‘perform power’; evoked through narratives embedded in the symbolic exchange between man and object. They assume domineering gestural behaviors, while the brightly beaded ‘guns’ and multi-coloured faceless body suits, create a strangely beautiful fashion editorial.“Shocking, beautiful and sad”.

Series: Ghosts

Image rights: Sulger-Buel Lovell and the Artist

About Ralph Ziman

South African, b. 1963, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, based in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Group Shows

New York,
LOST WARHOLS by Karen Bystedt
Art at the Rendon, 
Los Angeles, CA, USA,
Hidden Rooms

Fair History on Artsy

Sulger-Buel Lovell at FNB JoburgArtFair 2015