11/27/2012 10:32 am ET Updated Nov 27, 2012

'Asif's Guns': Asif Farooq's Pop-Up Gun Store Hits Primary Projects During Art Basel (PHOTOS)

How do you top a pig pin with real swine and a resident nude artist? With a pop-up gun store. Miami's Primary Projects follows up last year's Miru Kim exhibit during Basel with "Asif's Guns."

Miami-born artist Asif Farooq will exhibit over 300 guns he handcrafted from found cardboard -- painstakingly reproducing each mechanical component of firearms from snub-nosed revolvers to M16 assault rifles.

Farooq's guns will be for sale with prices loosely based on what the actual firearm would cost. Revolvers (based on a .38 special frame) will go from $350 whereas a sniper rifle will cost closer to $2000.

Farooq told Wonderland Magazine that his interest in guns refers to the idea of visual representation as personal metaphor as opposed to politics. "So, much as a writer uses words, or a musician uses notes, I use guns to communicate. To me they are just as interesting as any other inanimate object, but of course you can only say so much with bowls of fruit."

He told Miami Art Zine that he grew up around Vietnam veterans and believes he offers a new type of discussion about guns.

"For me they are like cars or soup, something that I view with a somewhat qualified dispassion. Other people have different agendas and more impassioned platforms regarding gun politics than I ever could."

"With or without the viewer, with or without the gallery, he will always make guns and he will always absorb everything pertaining to projectile weaponry," says BooksIIII Bischof, founder and curator of Primary Projects. "For Farooq, it all breaks down to the two simple concepts of love and respect – something that a mass majority of our gun-toting society will never be able to ascertain as a unified concept. Mainly because he builds while they destroy."

The artist told Miami New Times that the exhibit is dedicated to the memory of his friend William Stuart Watkins, who died of a drug overdose. "He really loved guns and we loved guns together."

Farooq, the gallery, and sponsor Crooks and Castles encourage all to donate to Stop Handgun Violence, an organization launched to prevent firearm violence through public awareness and sensible legislation – without banning guns. Make a donation here.

The gallery will host an opening reception on December 8 from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m. Otherwise the pop-up gun store will be open December 3 through 9 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Click below for images of "Asif's Guns":



'Asif's Guns' at Primary Projects