James Van Arsdale - Artist - Santa Barbara, California

A Special Kind of Hell, 2012. Acrylic, latex, wood, aluminum, electrical wire, lights. Dimensions variable

Metal Boy, 2012. Single-channel video, color/silent, 22 min. 35 sec. looped.

Riffing off of my teenage headbanger years in the 1980s, the installation A Special Kind of Hell with the video Metal Boy, seeks to question the impact of the much-maligned musical genre of Heavy Metal both culturally and socially while celebrating it as the catalyst for my own personal musical growth and development. Inspired by concert experiences in the early 1980s of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Dio, the 22 minute looping video Metal Boy recreates the intense up-front live music experience, with fog and stage lights surrounding the lone raised arm flashing the universal sign of "rocking out." To its side, a wall painting and sculptural pieces form a fantasy-graphic novel-wizards and goblins world of "Badass Crystals" and "Energy Rays" that play on the electricity inherent in the music and the spectacle of the rock stage sets. Its title, A Special Kind of Hell, refers both to the oft-referenced Satanic themes throughout much of the music, and also to the experience of being a teenager. A visual art equivalent to a smogged-out, pill-popped, garage-band Black Sabbath cover.

JamesVanArsdale, A Special Kind of Hell/Metal Boy, installation view
A Special Kind of Hell, installation view
A Special Kind of Hell/Metal Boy, installation view
A Special Kind of Hell, installation view
A Special Kind of Hell, installation view
A Special Kind of Hell/Metal Boy, installation view
JamesVanArsdale, metal horns video
JamesVanArsdale, Metal Boy video still

 

 

 

 


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