Normally, I would admire these pieces of armed taxidermy as simple, wondrous fusions of guns and dead things, created by a mind that exists on a much higher plane of superbly twisted ideas than mine, and leave it at that. But out of respect to the artist and his vision...or whatever...I will expand on the deeper meaning and social commentary Peter Gronquist intends his sculptures to convey.
Taxidermy ranging from deer, bison, antelopes, even (hands down my favorite) jackalopes have had their horns replaced or intertwined with various types of guns, the latter gilded or lacquered or otherwise decked out with ostentatious ornamentations. Like many artists, Gronquist hopes to stir discomfort with his work, forcing spectators to engage with taboos and contemplate the juxtaposition of death, nature, and destruction. Particularly as they relate to humankind's relationship with our environment and the idea that our innate drives--survival via food, water, shelter--invoke desires--comfort, pleasure, peace--that ultimately lead to greed. We don't just want what we need, we want what we want. In large, fancy, gold-encrusted quantities.
But if exploring the profundity of majestic animals with wicked weapons coming out of their heads isn't your thing, just enjoy the visuals flipping through the slideshow here, and checking out more heat-packing sculptures on Gronquist's Website.