The image of Abe Lincoln stared out blankly at pedestrians on the sidewalk from a glass case by the art gallery's entrance.
From a distance, the portrait of the slain president resembled a bed of raised nailheads. A closer inspection revealed that the bottoms of bullet casings formed the contours and shades of his bearded visage.
The likeness of Lincoln, by artist David S. Palmer, greeted visitors walking into the Lu Martin Galleries in Laguna Beach on the night of this month's First Thursdays Art Walk.
His Lincoln is one of several such portraits of famous people whose lives were cut short by killers' bullets, which the low-relief sculptor calls his "Fallen Heroes" series. John Lennon, John F. Kennedy and Tupac Shakur are the other portraits in this series of highly unusual artworks created out of thousands of used bullet casings.
Look closely and one can see the words "40" and "S & W" engraved in their bottoms and repeating themselves over and over, signifying them as .40-caliber Smith & Wesson casings.