Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Pushead, Baizley, and a few drinks with Mike
I was recently talking with Mike Sochynsky of Gengis Tron. We to talking about the Krallice logo and then to talking about why I've chosen to make artwork for heavy metal bands rather than, say, make work I thought would be good to sell in galleries. I said I had been kind of inspired by John Baizely of Baroness. I really feel that his work is a breath of fresh air to metal. His work, at its best, is intense, moving and beautiful. Actually, truly beautiful. So much of metal art is terrible. Utterly terrible. I can't say that, however, with out admitting that I have a great affinity for most of it. If I owned a poster for every Cannibal Corpse album cover, I would probably hang them up in my home...ALL of them.
Mike asked me if I had ever heard of Pushead. No. Ignorant me.
Baizley, he says, openly admits to ripping off Pushead. His style, his visual vocabularly all come form this one source.
So, I look up Pushead. I realize a couple of things. (It was a revelation really.)
1. Holy fuck, this dude is amazing.
2. J.B. really did steal this shit! Not just a little bit either. Vocabulary, syntax, style...the whole kit and caboodle. In fact, if you really wanted to be critical, you would realize he doesn't manage to add much to it either. The scope of Pushead's aesthetic is actually much wider, and inventive, mapping itself onto many music sub-genres and sensibilities.
3. Extreme music illustrator specialist. This is who I want to be.
4. I want to remake this dude's sense of beauty, sense of intensity and vitality, but in my own way.
I can't give Baizley too hard a wrap. Maybe one would expect me to, belittling him for a lack of creativity. But to be fair, we all steal. I steal. Mostly from Vesalius, but still, just because it's from the sixteenth century and there really was never copyright on any of it, still doesn't mean I didn't steal it. Moreover, I am a scientist. I understand the value of repeating an experiment, just to see if it still works under different circumstances at different times. John, if you ever read this, it still works.
Pushead with his illustrations: