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About Bran Symondson

Bran Symondson is a conceptual artist and photographer who is considered to be one of the finest reportage photographers in the world. He is perhaps best known for his one-off installations of AK-47 assault rifles masterfully embellished with dollar bills, iconography & butterflies. The inspiration came from his experiences whilst serving in the Special Forces in the war in Afghanistan....

Former Soldier Uses Art as a Weapon

Former British soldier and artist Bran Symondson takes decommissioned AK-47s and transforms them into symbols of peace. His...

Available Editions

Bran Symondson

Bran Symondson is a conceptual artist and photographer who is considered to be one of the finest reportage photographers in the world. He is perhaps best known for his one-off installations of AK-47 assault rifles masterfully embellished with dollar bills, iconography & butterflies. The inspiration came from his experiences whilst serving in the Special Forces in the war in Afghanistan. “That’s when I came up with the idea to use the AK-47,” he says. “We were surrounded by them and a lot of the Afghans used to decorate them with roses and stickers.” His works rest on one simple premise: transform an object of fear and hate into one of beauty and intrigue.

Symondson views the dollar as an iconic product with its ability to evoke a variety of emotions and influence behaviour, much the same as the assault rifle.  In his work ‘Deuces’ he swathes the AK-47 with American $2 bills, challenging the viewer to consider the similarity in how each is used to affect people’s lives.

In 2012 to coincide with Peace Day he asked 23 artists including Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk, Sam Taylor-Wood, Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume, Antony Gormley and the Chapman brothers to collaborate in his ‘AKA Peace’ exhibition. Each artist was asked to reinterpret decommissioned AK-47 assault rifles as a weapon of peace. “You give a stick to a boy and he’ll make it into a gun”, he said. “I don’t think [this project] glamourises [the weapon], I think it gets the message across that it can be used for something else.” The exhibition was a complete sellout.

His work is highly acclaimed: in 2011 he won the Amnesty International Media Award and his pieces are collected internationally. His client list ranges from the highly-acclaimed artist Jake Chapman through to Elton John and HRH Prince Khalifa of Bahrain.

Bran Symondson’s Butterfly AK47 at Bluebird, Chelsea

Videos of Bran Symondson

Former Soldier Uses Art as a Weapon

Former British soldier and artist Bran Symondson takes decommissioned AK-47s and transforms them into symbols of peace. His...

Bran Symondson News

FRD104371 600x338 - Art Bahrain

Art Bahrain

Maddox Gallery are delighted to be exhibiting, for the first time, at the newly launched art fair, Art Bahrain. The...

LOST INNOCENCE 01 600x338 - Art Bahrain

Bran Symondson unveils powerful new work ‘Lost Innocence’

A provocative new AK-47 artwork by artist Bran Symondson has been unveiled at Mayfair’s Maddox Gallery,...

Why London is seen as a leading place to buy investment art

Why London is seen as a leading place to buy investment art

There are questions hanging over the future of the UK as Europe’s unofficial capital of finance. So, is London still...

Bran Symondson transforms symbols of violence into contemporary art

Bran Symondson transforms symbols of violence into contemporary art

Bran Symondson creates contemporary art driven by his personal experiences in conflict areas, and transforms...

MADDOX GALLERY AK-47 ARTWORKS SEIZED BY OFFICIALS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS

Maddox Gallery AK-47 artworks seized by officials in Houston, Texas

Contemporary artworks created from de-commissioned AK-47 assault rifles, on their way to Houston, Texas, to be part of...

Maddox Gallery takes hottest contemporary art to Texas

Maddox Gallery takes contemporary art pop up to Houston, Texas

Four art experts from Maddox Gallery have taken up residence at La Colombe d’Or Hotel, in the heart of Houston’s...