New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist designed his half of the gun with the Rangers’ jersey colors, his number 30 in red and white on the blue handle. On the barrel of the gun: The New York City skyline at sunset. Lundqvist’s twin brother, Joel, designed the other side of the Colt Python 357 Magnum revolver. He’s a hockey player too, in his native Sweden, so he also had his team colors painted on the gun’s handle.
Their painted gun comes in three different sizes that retail for $550, $1,690 and $7,500. Each comes attached to an artist’s rendition of a hockey rink, with the knotted piece at the end of the barrel lining up perfectly with the end of the rink. The knot at the end of the gun sculpture is critical in understanding why the Lundqvist twins joined Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr and Muhammad Ali in painting these guns. The knots symbolically render bullets incapable of passing through the barrel and firing.
The knotted gun was created by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd in memory of John Lennon’s December 1980 shooting, outside the Dakota. It was commissioned by Ono, Lennon’s partner, and installed outside the United Nations building in 1988. It became a monument of peace around the world, and became the official logo for the Non-Violence Art Project, which sells the guns designed by celebrities to raise money for the Non-Violence Project Foundation.
Last month, the work outside the United Nations was “re-unveiled” to commemorate both Gandhi’s birthday and the 30-year anniversary of the gun’s inception, and a new limited-edition piece was unveiled in its honor.
The 2nd of October will be celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Knotted Gun statue located in front of the UN Headquarters in New York. The Knotted Gun was designed by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd after his friend John Lennon has been killed. pic.twitter.com/5mtn4Ds6m9
— Non-Violence Project (@NVPFoundation) September 27, 2018
“The Knotted Gun image is, today, the world’s most well known symbol for peace and non-violence and highlights the objectives of the Foundation,” says Natalia Pryadka, the head of sales and e-commerce at the Non-Violence Art Project. “The Non-Violence Project Foundation’s mission is to create and deliver highly customised education to inspire, motivate and engage young people to understand how to solve conflicts peacefully.”
The NVPF uses the project’s gun sales in two major ways: to educate young people in areas like self-esteem, conflict management, communication and emotional intelligence, and to raise awareness for the message of non-violence, the movement, and the logo.
Recently, the project added two more ambassadors, in addition to the Lundqvist twins: Patrizia Gucci, the great great granddaughter of Gucci’s founder, is a designer and painter; Jonny Johansson is the creative director and co-founder of Acne Studios. “My thought with the design, Acne For Peace, is to reflect the world of color where I think that we all should feel at home,” Johansson said. “Because who wouldn’t stand behind Non-Violence? It should be a matter of course, but it is still something that has to be emphasized and therefore it was important for me to make the sculpture.”
The 38th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder is on December 8. Visitors to the Dakota and Central Park’s Strawberry Fields, where the “Imagine” mosaic is located, often reflect on how little things have changed since Lennon was gunned down. To date, over 6.5 million people have been affected by gun violence since 1990. On Thursday, 12 people died when a shooter opened fire in Thousand Oaks, California, marking the 307th mass shooting in the United States this year. Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s knotted gun reminds us that we still have a lot more work to do.