Canadian Artist Viktor Mitic Debuts John Lennon Portrait at Armory Show, NYC

Canadian artist Viktor Mitic is making his highly anticipated debut in New York at the Armory Show with the showing of his provocative painting “.38 Special”, a portrait of iconic musician John Lennon.

In the creation of .38 Special, the ammunition of the title left unique and beautiful concentric circles of gunpowder mixed with metallic particles, burning the surface, and permanently embedding them into the canvas.

The Armory Show is America’s leading fine art fair devoted to the most important art of the 20th and 21st centuries. In its twelve years, the fair has become an international institution.

Over the last three years, Mitic has used more than 1 million rounds of ammunition to create his paintings, using assault rifles, pistols, revolvers and shotguns.



Often his subjects are famous persons who were felled by bullets, such as Lennon, President John F. Kennedy and Mahatma Gandhi.

Kennedy, the 35th president of America, was famously killed by gunfire in November 1963 while in motorcade, waving to the Dallas crowd in a convertible top car.  Lennon was only 40-years old in 1980, when he was gunned down outside the Dakota, his New York apartment by Mark David Chapman. Ghandi was killed by a Hindu Nationalist in 1948, also by gunfire.

Mitic’s goal is to references the violence which attends these historic figures, and use weapons in his art to create rather than destroy.  The uneasiness with which people perceive weapons, since they were made for one purpose only – to destroy a living being – puts Viktor Mitic in a unique position, using weapons to portray iconic images.

Mitic’s work has covered numerous images; “Hole Jesus” a portrait of President John F. Kennedy titled “Dallas” and a version of Picasso’s Guernica titled “Blasted Guernica”.
Over the last three years, Mitic has used assault rifles, pistols, revolvers and shotguns. Each weapon has unique properties when used on canvas, and are chosen for their symbolic or conceptual aspects.

For his portrait of Chairman Mao, painted in pig’s blood, Mitic used a shotgun and the scatter patterns to symbolize the millions who died during Mao’s regime.               

Fast food’s icon Ronald McDonald gets his due as well:



Mitic had made headlines with his controversial gunshot paintings, which feature portraits of celebrities, famous figures from history and politics, and religious icons, as well as famous works of art outlined in bullet holes.

Shocked by recent incidences of defacement of sacred works of art by fanatics-for example, the destruction of Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban, Mitic’s goal was to use weapons in his art as a narrative, descriptive tool rather than the tool of destruction.

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VIP Preview:

March 2nd   

Public Hours:

Thursday, March 3rd – Sunday, March 6th

March 3 to 5: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
March 6: 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Pier 94 (ADAC Booth #1511 at the ADAC Pavilion)
Twelfth Avenue @ 55th Street
New York City
TICKETS:          General Admission $30
Students $10
Groups (10+) $15
Run of Show Pass (4 day) $60
The Armory Show/VOLTA NY Pass $40

Every March, artists, galleries, collectors, critics and curators from all over the world make New York their destination during Armory Arts Week.