Jane Hilton, L.A. Gun Club

Target A, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7
Age: 35. Occupation: Federal Security. Gun: Glock 22 .40 caliber pistol
“I can’t believe I shot that hostage’s ear on my target. I learnt to shoot when I was in the military Marine Corps infantry."

LondonArt & Culture

Jane Hilton, L.A. Gun Club

Jane Hilton continues her documentation of Americana with damning insight into the USA's gun obsession...

‘These are my boyfriend’s guns. He loves shooting. I have brought him here tonight for his birthday treat.’ A treat that saw an elementary school playground worker join her boyfriend in pumping lead from a Ruger AR557 rifle into a target poster at downtown Los Angeles’s L.A. Gun Club.

Target E, 2016

Target E, 2016*

America’s unhealthy obsession with a loaded weapon is something few of us outside of the US can get to grips with. In a new body of work, showing now at London gallery Eleven, photographer Jane Hilton affords us an insight into the normalised attitude which many average Americans hold towards gun culture.

From Nevada brothels Madame Kitty’s Cathouse and Moonlite Bunnyranch, to the enduring appeal of cowboys in the American West; the London-based artist’s deep-rooted desire to uncover the defining spirit of Americana and United States culture has seen the British artist extensively document the American landscape and its people since developing her obsession on a trip to Arizona in 1988.

L.A. Gun Club sees the romanticised cinematic aesthetics of Hilton’s previous work replaced by documentative works, captured on a 5 x 4 inch plate camera, but their impact is in no way diminished; a powerful message about the defective American dream plays out in the brief interviews the artist conducted with each of the shooters: ‘the girls at work enjoy it,’ recalls a 28 year-old beauty therapist, ‘it is not unusual for teachers at my school to have guns and use them at clubs for stress relief,’ a biology school teacher.

Jane Hilton, L.A. Gun Club continues at Eleven, London, until 18 June.

* Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 26. Occupation: Architecture student
Gun: Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver
“I wanted to use the same gun as Clint Eastwood used in the movie ‘Dirty Harry'”

@janehiltonphoto
@elevenfineart

Target B, 2016

Target B, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 49
Occupation: Body Guard
Gun: Glock 19 9mm pistol (shooter’s own)
“I have been involved in two shoot outs when I was a police offer with the LAPD. I injured two people and was shot at myself. I now work with celebrity clients such as Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey.”

Target D, 2016

Target D, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 29 (boyfriend) + 24 (girlfriend)
Occupation: Mechanic + Elementary school playground worker
Guns: Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol + Ruger AR557 rifle
“These are my boyfriend’s guns. He loves shooting. I have brought him here tonight for his birthday treat.”

Target P, 2016

Target P, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 28
Occupation: Beauty therapist
Gun: GLOCK 17 9mm pistol
“I’ve only been here once before. The girls at work enjoy it.”

Target J, 2016

Target J, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 42
Occupation: Director of software for an engineering company
Gun: Kalashnikov AK47
“I bought my custom made silver AK47 this year as a gift to myself for my twenty-fifth work anniversary. It cost me $1400 to have it made.”

Target I, 2016

Target I, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 50
Occupation: General Manager of a hotel in Beverly Hills
Gun: Glock 19 9mm pistol
“A friend introduced me to the club and showed me the ropes. This is the fourth time I have been.”

Target K, 2016

Target K, 2016
Pigment print on Archival Fine Art Etch paper
Paper size: 30 x 22 in / 76 x 57 cm. Edition of 7

Age: 34
Occupation: Biology school teacher
Gun: Sig Sauer 226 9mm pistol (shooters’ own)
“I like to come here for ‘stress relief’. It is not unusual for teachers at my school to have guns and use them at clubs for stress relief. Our Vice Principal does, but obviously does not advertise the fact. I come when I have a bad day at school, but that doesn’t mean I visualise the pupils. I don’t!”

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