Saturday, April 04, 2009



ENTARTETE KUNTS returns to Portland in June 2009! The third annual underground art exhibit curated by Dennis Dread explores the intersection of imagery/sound and celebrates the incendiary art of metal and punk without a trace of irony. "Entartete Kunts” is a bastardization of the German term “degenerate art” and a snide reference to the 1937 Nazi purging of all art deemed objectionable by "Der Führer". An unfortunate pun but strangely appropriate for this gathering of unrepentant iconoclasts who stand boldly "outside" in every way. Entartete Kunts is in fact a very special exhibition that assembles some of the most devoted artists from around the world for a rare glimpse into a thriving and still largely renegade culture. Negative space? This is WAR!


The exhibition will be on display from June 4th through June 30th at The Life Gallery in downtown Portland, Oregon with an official Artist Reception on Friday, June 19. Many of the artists will be in attendance and DJ’s will be blasting vintage vinyl into the Witching Hour! Our allies at The Life Gallery have made special arrangements and will not take any percentage of sales from this show. That means if the artists sell their work, the artists keep all the money. This sort of deal is unheard of in the "art world". So come out for the Artist Reception June 19th and BUY ART! You’ll walk away with a piece of history knowing you did your part to support creative resistance in this age of desperate conformity, impotent angst, and just plain old boring decency.


S. Clay Wilson is one of the original granddaddies of American underground art and a founding member of Zap Comix. Any cretin who has ever drooled to the thought of zombies, demons, pirates, or perverse sexual acts (and that's pretty much every slob reading this) owes a staggering debt to the subversive genius of S. Clay Wilson! Born in 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska, Wilson graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology before landing in San Francisco, California in 1968 where he has resided ever since. In a career spanning more than 40 years Wilson has sodomized Eros for all she’s worth and slit the throat of Thanatos over his inkwell! In the midst of the 60's “free love” era he made mincemeat of every sacred cow imaginable and washed it all down with suds, speed, and sex. During the 80’s his delightfully brutal horror cartoons enjoyed a resurgence with exhibits at fine art galleries, a 15 second celebrity appearance on MTV, and cover art for The Accused LP More Fun Than An Open Casket Funeral. Since a nearly fatal accident in November 2008, Wilson has been making a slow but steady recovery at a rehabilitation center for brain damage in California. This year's exhibit features the first public unveiling of the recently completed hand-crafted Checkered Demon pool cue!

Nick Blinko is the enigmatic vocalist, guitarist, and visual artist of macabre punk pallbearers Rudimentary Peni. Born in 1961 in the suburbs of London, Blinko was deeply influenced by the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft and his hallucinatory drawings possess a disturbing nightmare logic of recurring patterns and oddly spiritual anti-religious symbolism. Diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, he creates densely detailed compositions in trance by perilously going off his medication in sort of post-punk Sympathetic Magic rituals. Just as shamans would retreat into the darkness of caves to paint, Blinko seems to penetrate visionary realms and draws an ecstatic power from his own imagination. A wounded healer doomed to terrifying inspiration, he is highly regarded in "Outsider Art" circles and his work is represented in permanent collections at The Collection de l'Art Brut, The Outsider Collection & Archive, and the Henry Boxer Gallery in London. Blinko is also the author of The Primal Screamer, a semi-autobiographical novel that reads like a contemporary anarcho-gothic retelling of Equus and The Catcher In The Rye. In addition to his art for Rudimentary Peni he has provided art for Coil, Iron Lung, and Part 1. ENTARTETE KUNTS is Blinko's third U.S. exhibit and his first gallery appearance on the West Coast!

Michel "Away" Langevin is a dystopian deep space visionary cast upon this island Earth in 1963. Inside a giant particle accelerator, a beam of protons, traveling at near the speed of light meets a beam of antiprotons moving equally fast in the opposite direction. The protons and mirror antiprotons annihilate each other, creating the fiery chaos of a parallel micro-galaxy. Experiment one complete, Langevin goes into that new dimension, meeting different civilizations and psychic entities, extracting knowledge and energy in the eight programs of this project called DIMENSION HATROSS. Langevin is also the hugely influential visual/conceptual artist, drummer, and founding member of Canadian thrash metal band Voivod. ENTARTETE KUNTS is his first U.S. gallery appearance. BUILD YOUR WEAPONS!

Chanel Adair is a self-taught Oregon native whose ephemeral and ghostlike images whisper premonitions of strange things to come. Her highly symbolic language of lush flora and fauna (nuclear flowers!), unfettered animals, and whirling insects conveys the anthropomorphic influence of 19th century children's book illustrators such as the French cartoonist J.J. Grandville as well as archaic natural sciences, specifically the pioneering work of Dutch anatomist & botanist Frederik Ruysch and engraver Cornelius Huyberts. Her delicate yet measured line work invokes the wonder of a natural, perhaps supernatural, world of possibilities. When she is not reposed in solitude amongst her books and sketch pads Adair is a brazen voice of dissent and unapologetic protest. A fixture in the Portland punk scene since she began playing music at the age of 16 her bands Atrocious Madness and Lebenden Toten have toured widely throughout the world and she recently returned from a successful tour of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. "It comes with no sirens, no warning, no clamor..."

Luis Manuel Quiroga is a psycho-pathological surgeon of demise! Born in Spain in 1973, he demonstrated remarkable artistic ability as a child and was awarded local recognition before attending art school at the age of nine years old. In true degenerate fashion, his artistic calling came a few years later when he dropped out of art school at age twelve and discovered Iron Maiden and the sequential seduction of comic books. As a teen he assumed the pen name "Luisma" and provided art for local punk bands before falling hopelessly into the deep chasm of death metal and its feral offshoot...GRIND!!!! Ever since "Luisma" has been carving a unique wound for himself in the underbelly of the international scene with his own band Haemorrhage for which he provides bass, vocals, and outrageous gore-splattered cartoons. His cleverly composed abominations have graced albums and shirts for Cliteater, Impetigo, Exposed Guts, Avulsed, and many more. "My greatest pride," the artist beams from beneath a bloody surgeon's mask, "is watching my art tattooed into people's skin." There will be no anesthesia.

Pasquale "Lino" Reca is an urban guerrilla with one cloven hoof in hades and one steeltoe boot in your face! Born and bred in the mean streets of Gravesend, Brooklyn, he discovered crime as art in 1982 and began stalking the subterranean shadows of the New York City subway system with spray paint and marker pens. While attending the High School of Art and Design (FAME!), he became possessed with the more extreme varieties of metal & punk and further developed his gritty post-industrial graveyard aesthetics. He went on to attend the School of Visual Arts where he graduated with a degree in Illustration and met his graphic mentor, the late Jack Potter, who encouraged him to explore heavy compositional life drawing and the raw physical technique that informs his best work to this day. Lino has designed theatrical sets for musicals, curated his own installation exhibits, and provided illustrations for a long list of clients as diverse as the New York Times and Slayer zine! He has vandalized album covers for Redrum, Cattlepress, Iabhorher, Battletorn, Slogun, Ceremonium, and his own bands Hemlock, The Dying Light, and Villains.

Kristian "Necrolord" Wåhlin is a legend of epic death metal artistry. Born in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden in 1971, he studied art at the Schillerska grammar school before setting out on a career that has defined the dark and complex sensibilities of the Scandinavian underground. His monumental canvas works in oil and acrylic are imbued with a deep sense of melancholy and mystic grandeur that at once disorients and engages the imagination. In Wåhlin's masterfully detailed landscapes Death and Spirit are ever present as the light that radiates from beyond or the darkness that emanates from within. During the late 80's he and Thomas Lindberg formed the acclaimed death metal band Grotesque and helped lay the early foundation for what has now come to be recognized as the "Gothenburg sound". Their debut album Incantation is also noteworthy as it features one of his first published works. Since then Wåhlin has created nearly 200 album covers for hugely influential bands such as Dissection, At The Gates, Emperor, Tiamat, Nifelheim, Dismember, and Bathory. ENTARTETE KUNTS is the Necrolord's first U.S. gallery appearance!

Arik Roper is a psychonautical wanderer of worlds unseen. His fantastic swirling inkscapes stimulate the third-eye with the ethereal beauty of forgotten archetypes and the rooted gravity of old-growth forests fraught with mystery and menace. Born in New York City in 1973 he was raised in Virgina and returned to NYC in the early 90's to study at the School of Visual Arts before launching his career as an acclaimed illustrator and graphic designer. The strange galaxies he invokes offer glimpses of such mystic elders as Roger Dean, Patrick Woodroffe, and Vaughn Bodé but the vibrant lifeforms that beckon toward the eternal are all his own. A regular contributor to Arthur magazine, Roper also designs album art for a variety of bands including High on Fire, Sleep, Buzzoven, Mammatus, The Black Crowes, and SUNN0))). His practical fungi tome Mushroom Magick: A Visionary Field Guide has recently been published by Abrams Books so you can harvest your mind and reap your soul...

Paul Henri Toorenvliet is better known as "Midgaars" of experimental Belgian brown metal defilers Lugubrum. Born in 1975 in the city of The Hague in the Netherlands, Toorenvliet started drawing comics as a kid, influenced by Frank Frazetta and a grandfather who taught him how to draw fat naked women. In 1988 he moved to Belgium and realized the potency of his skills when he was thrown out of Jesuit’s college after teachers recognized themselves in a detailed drawing of a medieval torture chamber. At age 18 he quit art school altogether, having become frustrated by the limitations of his teachers, and began learning on his own. At this point he had formed Lugubrum and his visual style evolved along the same sordid and perplexing path as his music. At turns sacred and profane, humorous and somber, Toorenvliet's paintings are classically inspired and decadently rendered. For the past 15 years he has applied his unique vision to album covers, comics, illustration commissions, and metallurgy while maintaining involvement in street theater and various group projects.

Jason Storey is an illustrator and tattoo artist raised by hippies in Berkeley, California. He credits his rebellious creative urges to parents who were active in the anti-establishment activities of the 1960's Haight-Ashbury scene. After attending Berkeley High School with many notable punk rock classmates he studied art at the University of California at Santa Cruz, working at an art supply store before becoming a tattoo artist in 1991. Storey's archetypal punk style received wide exposure when he provided cover art for the 1987 debut Neurosis LP Pain Of Mind. This cover is particularly notable because the original drawing was purchased by an obsessive fan who later destroyed the art in a misguided "hate ritual". No high resolution slide of the art exists so when the album was re-released in 1994 Storey's drawing was replaced by a photo of a Pennsylvanian politician in the act of committing suicide. Storey has gone on to design t-shirts, flyers, and album graphics for Sacrilege B.C., Capitol Punishment, Strychnine, Grinch, Blister, and East Bay Menace Records. These days he plies his trade in flesh six days a week at Picture Machine Tattoo in San Francisco, California while building a body of bright paintings that fuse traditional tattoo flash motifs with streetpunk aggression.

Lorenzo Mariani is an Italian artist whose morbid creations are tempered with classical Renaissance sensibilities. Born in Ancona, Italy he earned a MA degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at Naba, a fine arts academy in Milan where he currently resides. Mariani burst onto the underground scene at the age of 19 when he provided unprecedented cover art for the Darkthrone album Sardonic Wrath. Unsurprisingly, commissions began to fall like brimstone and the young artist soon found himself in league with such black metal luminaries as Marduk, 1349, Mayhem, and Aborym. In 2002 he began work on an ambitious music archive featuring portraits of influential contemporary bands and musicians. The project underscores Mariani's notion that all music has an equally important visual correlation that merges distinct social contexts, regional nuances, and national traditions. In addition to his prolific commissions he is a freelance graphic designer for contemporary art publishers, museums, and galleries.

E. Danielsson is a hellbent necromancer on the Left Hand Path of no return. Born in Uppsala, Sweden he descended into the mysteries of the shadow at an early age and, apart from one year at Academedia in Stockholm, is a wholly self-taught disciple of vintage metal occultism. A worthy agent of the demonic undercurrent, Danielsson is the medium itself, receiving and bringing forth Luciferian revelations with serrated x-acto blades, a light-table, and copious amounts of dirt, blood, and fire. Imagine Dührer etching the cover of Venom's Black Metal in a forgotten catacomb far beneath the earth while under the influence of LSD and the "artistic direction" of Altamont Hells Angels! A founding member of the inverted black metal trinity known as Watain, Danelisson has toured extensively throughout the world, delivering the gospel of the storming triple-six to a growing congregation of the damned. Under the moniker of Trident Arts he has provided graphic design for many bands of note including Dissection, Necrophobic, Unanimated, Dismember, and Repugnant. This is his first U.S. gallery appearance. Hail the Anti-Christ of Uncreation!

Rob Miller is a traditional blacksmith residing on the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. Born in Tavistock, England he is the voice, bass player, and founding member of atavistic punk ensemble Amebix, initially formed with his brother "Stig" in 1978. Taking visual cues from the burgeoning anarcho-punk movement, Miller pioneered a stark silhouette style that would come to characterize the band's deceptively simple approach. His black & white graphics convey a message of spiritual self-determination and remain among the most powerful and instantly recognizable imagery to emerge from that era of unrest. Following the band's demise Miller disappeared to the Isle of Skye in 1991 where his lifelong passions for world history and mythology melded in the age-old discipline of hammer and flame. The sword and accompanying bi-knife he has forged for this exhibit is an amalgamation of both sound and steel, being a historically accurate 13th century European design with Austin Osman Spare's occult sigil, which Amebix adopted as their logo, embedded as silver coins in the grips. The blade of the sword, folded repeatedly under heat to produce approximately 190 layers of steel, contains the phrase most often associated with his band: NO GODS NO MASTERS!

Dennis Dread is a self-taught American artist with roots deeply entrenched in the fertile compost of transgressive art. His visceral and obsessively detailed ballpoint pen drawings regularly appear on album covers worldwide in a style he refers to as "horror noir". Born in a bathroom in 1972 in New York's folklore-rich Hudson River Valley, near influential historical locales such as Sing Sing Prison and Sleepy Hollow, he enjoyed a childhood of monster movies and homemade comics and at the age of 18 began silkscreen printing for the infamous t-shirt company Mutilation Graphics. Dread proudly held this post for four years while working on his drawing skills and studying literature and comparative mythology at a nearby State University. Following several cross-country drawing sprees, Mr. Dread jumped off a freight train passing through Portland, Oregon, and the "city of thorns" has served as his headquarters ever since. A freelance culture terrorist, Dread edits and self-publishes the long running underground art zine Destroying Angels and curates the acclaimed annual group exhibition ENTARTETE KUNTS. To avoid fainting keep repeating, it's only art, it's only art, it's only art, it's only art...

June 4 - June 30
Artists Reception: June 19
The Life Gallery
625 NW Everett Street
Portland, Oregon 97209