Jeff Koons Made a Sculpture Out of Sean Penn’s Gun Collection

Charlize Theron convinced Penn to give up his firearms

Actor Sean Penn standing at a podium
Sean Penn speaks onstage at an event benefiting Australia Wildlife Relief Efforts.
Kevin Winter/Getty

Six years ago, Sean Penn revealed that while he owned a whopping 67 firearms, he’d had a change of heart.

“I’ve had my mind changed about guns by a strong woman, a beautiful South African woman,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. (At the time, Penn was dating Charlize Theron, who has been an outspoken gun control advocate since her abusive father attacked her and her mother with a shotgun, forcing her mother to shoot and kill him in self-defense.) “I don’t need these cowardly instruments of violence and destruction,” he added. “None of us do.”

In an effort to decommission his weapons, Penn asked artist Jeff Koons to turn them into a piece of art, as Artnet reports. The artist obliged, and he recently shared the resulting work — named “Uli” — to Instagram, writing, “Uli figures are normally made out of wood, and they represent the maternal and paternal spirit of tribal leaders.”

The piece was auctioned off at the “Help Haiti Home” charity benefit gala, and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper placed the winning bid of $1.4 million, beating out Piers Morgan. The finished work is made entirely of gunmetal, fusing together the firearms and rendering them inactive.

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