Thursday, January 7, 2010
The Most Metal Painter on the Planet - The Art of Skinner
When I came across Skinner's work it was as though Col. Kurtz's crystal bullet entered my brain. I'm enthralled by the clarity it hits me with.
He started out by painting hats and purses. Then he met a guy who was starting up a skateboard detailing company called Blood Wizard. Blood Wizard is also, incidently, what I should legally make my middle name. He uses Cel Vinyl paints, which is the sort of paint that animators use to colour animation cels. This gives his work a kind of He-Man caste; a sense of the bizarre, psychedelic cartoon worlds that kids internalized in the 80s. I love the alien but familiar physicality of Skinner's characters: they have this visceral, sinewy detail that pushes into the psycho-sexual. Gives me the heebeejeebs.
It really captures the primal, haunting, atavistic whisperings that lie at the heart of two subcultures I tend to give a lot of importance: Fantasy and Metal. Both, when earnest, an attempt at reconnecting with some ancient aspect of ourselves. Pointing a finger at the lizard part of our brain and attempting to reconcile with it. Skinner's stuff seems to be emerging from that particular human fascination, which is a fascination that sure takes up a steaming helping of my time.