In “9mm” artist Nick Hunt presents us with six squares of aluminum, each of a different color and shot with a nine millimeter pistol. Although his installation calls to mind discussions about the Second Amendment and the place of guns within American society, Hunt moves the dialogue away from national politics as he artfully comments on the idea of using this study as a way to determine the effects of specific bullets on paint. "Like picking the appropriate brush or color." He also treats his colorful squares as ideas of the self, full of imagination and prospects, that life’s challenges hit while adding character and revealing something about each piece. The various sizes of bullet holes seen throughout the aluminum panels stand for the different experiences a person endures throughout their life and how it adds value to them. Also, It is important to point out  that each piece is painted with six layers of different paint. Thus, the impact of the bullet reveals different colors. As a result, rather than seemingly destroying the pieces, the bullets give character to their surface by, literally, adding depth and texture to it. The idea of adding to art by taking away from it was best exemplified by American painter Robert Rauschenberg who in 1953 intentionally erased a painting executed by Abstract Expressionist Williem DeKooning. Through his own sensibility, Hunt engages with Rauschenberg’s conviction that subtracting and erasing can, ironically, bring in substance and value.

 

Nathan Segura

February 1, 2016