From the NYT: The print was one of dozens of pieces on display on a long white wall in Queens last week, mounted among bright and cheery watercolors. From a distance, the 10-inch-square image looked like a patch of ice with a round area missing, drilled for fishing perhaps. A closer look revealed the ice to actually be shattered glass, the round hole left by a bullet.
It was a stately setting for a gritty image — a silent auction of works by Long Island City artists “that reflect the diversity and glorious breadth of talent in the L.I.C. community,” according to the program for the event, the LIC Arts Open.
The bullet-hole print on canvas was made from a photograph taken nearby by Rita Frazier Normandeau. “It’s beautiful,” Ms. Normandeau, 69, said on Thursday, admiring her work on the eve of the auction.
She would know. She and her husband of 47 years, Raymond Normandeau, 72, have been chronicling gunfire and photographing its aftermath as tenant activists in the Queensbridge Houses public-housing complex for more than 30 years. While other couples their age stroll through New York City’s parks in search of exotic birds, the Normandeaus are on the hunt, cameras in hand, for the countless hazards and annoyances of life in Queensbridge, from cracked and broken steps to dog feces to bloodstains and bullet holes.
“I think it helps point to a problem that people just don’t pay attention to,” Mr. Normandeau said. “People think gunshots are normal, and they shouldn’t be.”
The bullet-hole print, untitled, went for $100, the minimum opening bid, Mr. Normandeau said. He did not believe many people were in the market for such images. “If they wait long enough, a bullet may come through their window,” he said, “and they won’t have to buy a picture of one.”