- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

DENVER (AP) - Ravi Zupa looks at guns as an art form, converting old typewriters, staplers, vacuums and old car parts to make realistic gun displays.

Zupa said he’s not taking sides in the gun debate, he just wants people to think about the issues and discuss them. One of his pieces included a big sculpture resembling the Hindu god Shiva. It had six arms, and one held a gun.

The 38-year-old artist held up a sculpture that looks like a submachine gun from World War II. It’s part of his works he calls “Mightier Than” series.

Zupa said words are more powerful than guns because of the impact they can have and the positive effect that can result from the discussions, according to Colorado Public Radio (https://tinyurl.com/zy2jyx4 ).

The art is so real it prompted a call in November to the Englewood Police Department from someone who saw people packing up some of the fake guns.

“The main components are typewriter components,” he said. “I’ll take apart a typewriter and paw through that pile and find pieces that seem appropriate.”

He uses typewriter rollers as the barrels and stapler guns for the triggers and the grips on his mock assault rifles and machine guns.

He also has used parts from cars, vacuums and sewing machines, but he likes typewriters because he believes they convey a stronger message and play off his love for words.

Zupa said he has fired several weapons, but most of his displays are modeled from pictures.

“The main thrust of all of my art comes from looking at books,” Zupa said.

Zupa said his sculptures started as pieces of props in videos and he didn’t realize their poetic potential until later.

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