Princess Stomper

Why artists shouldn’t stick to art

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Untitled painting by Zdzislaw Beksinski 1984 (fair use)


Inspired by music, Beksinski‘s dark, gothic paintings evoke apocalyptic doom (though not necessarily metal). The Polish painter, sculptor and photographer deflected interpretations of what his works ‘meant’, saying, “I cannot conceive of a sensible statement on painting”.

Tool – ‘Sober’

I remember crawling out of my tent half-awake at midday, yesterday’s alcohol searing through my head, and being faced by a strange man in a babygro spelling out our doom in sulking, accusatory tones. His hair was ridiculous. They were mis-billed as “Cool”, which just made the whole thing more surreal. The show was incredible.

Rammstein – ‘Sonne’

The thunking riffs are suitably portentous, but the amusing video would have tickled Beksinski’s reportedly excellent sense of humour.

Metallica – ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’

I’m obviously referring to the fantasy elements of his work here. Ah, when Metallica were good. I can still play this eight or nine times in a row without tiring of it, and the fan-made video is wonderful (clips from 2005 film Call of Cthulhu).

Necessary – ‘Insisting On Racial Namecalling’

I want you to stop now, head on over to the Weltschmertz Industries website and download Necessary’s awe-inspiring double album for free. I’ll wait. It’s broadly electronica, but of the deepest, darkest, heaviest variety. Their drummer played for Prong, Godflesh and Swans, which should give some indication of how rib-shatteringly nasty it sounds. I really wish I’d heard this before compiling my best-of-the-year-so-far list.

Front Line Assembly – ‘Prophecy’

FLA’s dirgy breakbeat hits just the right gloomy note, even if my memories of this particular track are mostly of pleasant summer barbecues listening to it on my friend’s portable stereo.

Amebix – ‘Here Come The Wolf’

War, death and destruction is a recurring theme in Beksinski’s work so I think this Killing Joke-inspired track from Sonic Mass would be an ideal mixtape closer.

(continues overleaf) 

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3 Responses to Why artists shouldn’t stick to art

  1. Princess Stomper August 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    (BTW I do love Knifeworld – I wouldn’t include them if I didn’t – but I do have to admit it’s bonkers music in the same way that Bastards of Fate are bonkers)

  2. Daniel August 9, 2012 at 12:52 am

    As a twenty-something snob, I never gave Rothko his due, but when I saw some of his work up close (as a (thirty-something snob) it turned me around. There was a piece called untitled blue and green, where a velvety blue shared the canvas with an ashen black. Upon closer inspection their was green underneath the black, but it only revealed itself when the viewer leaned in close. That’s a pretty similar to hearing “A Warm Place” for the first time since high school.

    great article!

  3. Princess Stomper August 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I just thought people who liked art like Rothko’s were gullible and stupid until I saw ‘Red on Red’ (untitled), which sold for about £4 million a decade or so ago. It was like a very loud musical chord that strikes you in the gut – it just sort of resonates on a totally primal and intuitive level. It was the exact shades of red used were so … biological. Nothing else I’ve seen of his has affected me that way – but then, I’ve never seen his stuff close up.

    Almost of all of his copyists are just people slapping a wadge of paint onto a board, though, so my contempt towards them still stands.

    Really glad you enjoyed the article.

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