Knotted Gun Sculpture
New York, New York
"Non-Violence" (also known as "The Knotted Gun") is a pro-peace sculpture by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, designed in late 1980 and inspired by the shooting death of his pal, John Lennon. It was given to the UN by the government of Luxembourg in 1988.
The sculpture depicts a 45-caliber revolver with its barrel knotted into a bullet-blocking twist, an idea normally confined to 2D reality in newspaper editorial cartoons.
It has become the essential photo-op for UN visitors after the United Nations Sculpture Garden closed for renovations (When we asked how long it would remain closed, the information booth lady replied, "Years").
A steady stream of tourists, mostly foreign, pose with the statue, some assuming positions that might surprise Reuterswärd (or maybe not), such as the "grabbing the trigger" gambit.
Though the NYC installation has special significance -- considering the UN's PEACE-keeping mandate and Lennon's local demise -- there are at least 16 other identical Knotted Gun sculptures scattered across the planet, in venues ranging from a World War II Museum in Caen, France, to a shopping center in Liverpool, England. Miniature fiberglass version are available online.
Although the Sculpture Garden is currently a no-stroll zone, you can still catch a glimpse of its infamous, anatomically correct elephant sculpture. Just exit the plaza, make a right, and walk up to the corner of 48th Street. The packing pachyderm is visible through the fence, barely. A well-meant modesty screen (of shrubs hastily planted in 1998 and now grown to mangy lushness) obscured Jumbo's junk during our visit, but maybe the view is better in winter. [ADB]