A street artist used bulletproof vests to make a point about gun-related violence, and his statement is getting a lot of attention.
The British-born artist known as Plastic Jesus entered Target and Macy’s stores in Los Angeles and placed kid-sized bulletproof vests in the stores' children’s clothing sections. The vests came with labels that read, “Show how much you love them. Unparalleled protection for your kids.”
He took part in this endeavor over the weekend, and images of the guerrilla stunt have since gone viral on social media, along with the caption, “Back to school? Everything you need for the new term.”
“Including Level 3A bullet proof vest,” the posts added.
Back to school? Everything you need for the new term. Including Level 3A bullet proof vest. From Plastic Jesus industries and @Target / @davidhogg111 @Emma4Change @shannonrwatts @MomsDemand @GeorgeTakei #nra #ParklandShooting #school #backtoschool #guns pic.twitter.com/XLaUkV8MiL— Plastic Jesus™? (@plasticjesusart) August 4, 2018
When asked to comment, Plastic Jesus told HuffPost that the stunt was “intended to be a statement about the ‘new normal’ of school shootings, where the U.S. seems to accept the slaughter of children is an acceptable consequence of the right to bear arms.”
To the artist, American society has managed to blame everything but guns for the mass shootings in schools we have seen taking place recently.
“By many, the blame is placed on everything from violent video games, bad parenting, rock music, lack of God, in fact everything apart from the prevalence of guns in society,” he said.
Twitter users had plenty to say about the poignant message the artist is sending with this action.
Pencils - check; Binders - check; Running Shoes - check; Bullet Proof Vest... Mmm... Let’s see... Check!!!— Eliott Rodgers (@ERSF1963) August 8, 2018
broken country— StuMorts (@stumorts) August 5, 2018
This is incredible. Thank you. ?— Agnès Broussard (@iitsmeasherbee) August 4, 2018
This may have been ironic, but I bet they'd sell a million --Street artist Plastic Jesus is making a poignant point about school shootings with his latest stunt. https://t.co/Dj37pa4NTR via @HuffPostPol— Megan Baker (@grammarphobette) August 8, 2018
They will need head gear as well...— Amelie Meadows (@Amelie11931845) August 6, 2018
Plastic Jesus has recently been behind a series of other stunts involving current issues. He was the artist behind the tiny wall around President Donald Trump’s Hollywood Star, and the sculpture of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein wearing a robe and sitting on a casting couch.
While his art is meant to make people think, he told reporters, he tries to “approach art in a way that won’t offend people too much.”
“I just want to get them thinking about policy and politics and news,” he added.
He might not offend too many people, but he sure does get the conversation going, especially on social media.
Thanks to his latest display, many parents now have seen the child-sized mannequins wearing bulletproof vests, forcing them to question whether this is the reality they want for their children.
Banner/thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga