Painting the Target

Gun shows are easy to satirize. Arms manufacturers frequently use typically beautiful women to show off weaponry. Display booth and catalogue language is inevitably Orwellian. Every advertisement is rife with complex signifiers. Given the opportunity, a psychoanalyst would have a heart attack decoding industry messaging.

Souciant‘s Courtney Utt attended the biggest annual gun show in the world – appropriately titled SHOT – in January. Though she returned with a lot of great shots, the most curious were a series of paper target paintings made by the Belgian firm¬†PJL Targets. Featuring portraits of civilians bearing weapons, their style is unsettling. Equal parts video game and vintage socialist, they’re a big break from the norm.














Is this man an Arab? The beard is ambiguous.


A stylish woman target. An extra from The Baader-Meinhoff Complex?


Note the change from sidearms to M-16. It must mean he’s a gangsta.


Mice always make better targets than people. If you hate rodents.


  1. may be you need some explanations about these targets. They are made for law enforcement use. Police officer must be trained to react properly to unexpected situation to avoid to hurt or kill any inoffensive person. that’s why all the argets can be changed in unarmed people (even arab and black people !!! ) Just one more detail : all the painted faces belong to police officers in belgium police ( even african, asian or arab faces) and the young lady is not a friend of Baader but she is inspector in financial section in our federal police department . One of these targets is my son and target # 1 is my picture.
    May be you’ll understand that our purpose is to train police officer to avoid using their duty firearm in an irresponsible way. And if the faces are from many different racial origin it is because in Belgium all gansters are not caucasian. I don’t know if it is the same in USA
    Best regards
    Francis DORAO
    Federal police inspector
    Fire arms instructor

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