Total F@#King Mayhem

September 5, 2009

I’m getting deeper into this “metal” thing.  Everywhere I look, I see something that seems to point toward the hyperextended masculinities of metal and horror culture.  Maybe all those CDs I’ve been listening to have been starting to pay off, even though now I’m listening to The xx, which if you haven’t heared them stop right now and go listen.

Okay.  So we can all agree about that how there have been three perfect pop songs this decade, and The xx’s “Crystalised” is one of them.  (The others are “Hey Ya” and “Crazy.”)  Back to extended masculinities.

The hands stuff below works for me on two levels.  First, it just fucking looks metal.  Actually, if you put anything a little overdrawn in white against a dark background I would say that’d be true, but especially for these diagrams, which show the articulation of the fingers, there’s a sort of uncanny/macho feeling to them that seems to link up with metal’s often hyperextended articulation of cover art, where the super-realistic meets the fantastic somewhere in a land of majesty, fantasy, and gore.

The other reason the fingers are metal is the mastery of the drawings themselves.  This kind of complete mastery, like the mastery over an electric guitar, seems like a trope of masculinized excellence that you only see in certain strains of jazz and metal.  That kind of mastery goes in and out of style, culturally, but it’s been a constant in representational drawing, which is something I know nothing about.  This is where biography creeps in: I “came of age” musically during The Grunge Era where mastery was looked with skepticism and the idea was immediacy and indelibility, and I think those are values that have crossed over into my art work, where “hard work” is less important than grabbing the viewer.   Which begs the question of the masculinity of something that’s opposed to traditional masculinity; I don’t think you just automatically get femininity, you get some kind of androgyny I’m still interested in exploring.






2 Responses to “Total F@#King Mayhem”

  1. karinsha Says:

    This work is amazing.
    I’m going to do an artist copy of it for my GCSE, Its un believeable.
    I’ve been inspired.
    Thank you.

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