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Guns, Bones & Steel: The Gothic Reliquaries Of Al Farrow - A Detailed Look.

Look closely at these incredible sculptures and you'll notice the mosque and church-like structures are created with guns, gun parts, bullets, artillery, gears, chains, bullet shells and bone fragments.

These reliquaries by Al Farrow mix munitions with religion and result in some very impressive and detailed three dimensional projects. Below are several of his pieces shown in chronological order of their creation.

above: Reliquary for the Extended Family, Chains, Wood, Glass, Bone, Lead, Iron, Found Objects, 18"h X 25"w X 9"d, 1995

above: Trigger Finger of Santa Guerro (I), Gun Parts, Bullets, Steel, Glass, Bone, 25"h X 14"dia.

above: Trigger Finger of Santa da Guerra (II), Guns, Bullets, Bullet Shells, Steel, Bone 20"h X 16"dia, 1996

above: Piece of the True Gun of Saint Guerre, Gun Parts*, Bullets*, Steel, Bone, Crucifix, 58"h X 18"w X 16"d,1996

above: Leg Bone of Santo Guerro, Gears, Gun Parts, Bullets, Steel, Glass, Bone, Crucifix, 47"h X 18"dia, 1998

above: Foot Bone of Santa Guerro, Tank Periscope, Bullets, Bullet Shells, Brass, Glass, Bone, 18"h X 17"w X 9"d, 1996

above: Skull Fragment of Heilige Krieg, Guns, Gun Parts, Bullets, Steel, Bone, Nazi Gas Valve, Piece of Berlin Wall, Cast Resin, 59"h X 27"w X 27"d 1996

above: Martyred Hand and Gun of Saint Guerre, Bullets, Gun, Glass, Lead Shot, Wood, Bone, 10"h X 10"w X 8"d, 1996

above: Skull of Santo Guerro, Guns, Gun parts, Bullets, Lead Shot, Steel, Glass, Bone, Steel, Crucifix, 42"h X 20"w X 20"d, 1998

above: Trigger Finger of Santa Guerro (III) Guns, Bullets, Bullet Shells, Steel, Glass, Lead Shot, Bone, Crucifix, 33"h X 13"w X 13"d, 2001

above: The Last Finger of Santo Guerro (V), Guns, Gun Parts, Bullets, Bullet Shells, Glass, Steel, Bone, 11"h X 10"w X 10"d, 2001

above: Synagogue (I), Guns, Bullets, Shot, Steel, Antique Torah Cover, Glass, 32"h X 36.5"w X 27.5"d, 2005

above: Trigger Finger of Santo Guerro (VI), Bullets, Guns, Glass, Shot, Steel, Bone, 22"h X 16.5"w X 16.5"d, 2006

above: Fingernail of the Trigger Finger of Santo Guerro, Bullets, Guns, Glass, Steel, Fingernail, Antique Textile, 12.5"h X 10"w X 10"d, 2007

above: Mausoleum (II), 29”h X 24”w X 24”d, Bullets, Artillery Shells, Steel, 2008

above: Synagogue (II), 36”h X 28”w X 44”d, Guns, Bullets, Shot, Steel, Polycarbonate, Antique Torah Cover, 2008

Al Farrow (above) was born in Brooklyn, NY and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than thirty years. An accomplished sculptor in a wide variety of media from bronze to clay to assemblage, Farrow generally adopts the language of an historical period in his work, updating the imagery or materials to make cogent observations about contemporary society. Past projects have included bowls created in the style of the Mimbres culture, an indigenous people who lived in what is now the southwest and northern Mexico, and painted in their traditional single reed brush style with images of B-1 bombers, radiation symbols, tanks and other military images.

In recent years he has used munitions—bullets, guns, hand grenades, bombs—to make three-dimensional projects that resemble Christian reliquaries, Islamic mosques and a Jewish menorah (shown below):

Al Farrow’s work is included in the public collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, 21c Museum (Louisville, Kentucky), All Saints Episcopal Church (Pasadena, California), and the Government of the State of Israel. He lives and works in San Rafael, California andhas exhibited with Catharine Clark since 1994. (bio courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery)

Sculptor Al Farrow has had numerous solo exhibitions since 1970, and is currently represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco. His work has been in group shows at the Oakland Art Gallery, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Falkirk Cultural Center in Marin, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, among many others. He has over 20 years of bronze casting experience. His work is in many important public and private collections around the world, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the di Rosa Preserve in Napa, and other collections in New York, Germany, Italy, and Hong Kong.

Be sure to see his amazing cathedral:

photos of cathedral in process by Marty Tibor

Al Farrow

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