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Fire & Fantasy

Fire & Fantasy

September 8, 2017

Heavy Music Artwork 6th installation: Fire & Fantasy is centred around the concept of fantasy, imagination and escapism. No other...

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Avant-Garde

Avant-Garde

May 26, 2017

Heavy Music Artwork launches world’s first and only metal and rock art magazine - Issue 5 pre-sell: Avant-GardeFeaturing: Ulver, Sun O)))...

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Legacy

Legacy

March 10, 2017

The aging process affects pretty much everything in one way or another; but it may also lead to things being...

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Human

Human

January 20, 2017

The third issue of Heavy Music Artwork is an introspective outlook on music and art. Rock and metal have a...

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Folklore

Folklore

October 20, 2016

The second installment of Heavy Music Artwork is dedicated to Folk Art. Often referred to as ‘folklore’, it depicts the...

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Dark Nouveau

Dark Nouveau

July 20, 2016

The first issue is finally out and we feel inspired, happy and accomplished that we; the metal community; have a...

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Sam Shearon

Sam Shearon

September 19, 2017

Sam Shearon talks with Heavy Music Artwork Sam Shearon Aka ‘Mister-Sam’...

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Maciej Kamuda

Maciej Kamuda

July 5, 2017

The art of being yourself Most of all I'm self-taught. I...

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Cosimo Miorelli

Cosimo Miorelli

July 1, 2017

Man at work Like most people, I always drew as a...

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Rainer Kalwitz

Rainer Kalwitz

June 28, 2017

Phantastic Realism I had studied graphic arts at the university of...

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Lukasz Wodynski

Lukasz Wodynski

June 20, 2017

Living beings I graduated The School Of Fine Arts in my...

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Max Martelli

Max Martelli

June 14, 2017

Passion for Science Fiction Ever since I was young I was...

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Christian Sloan Hall

Christian Sloan Hall

June 8, 2017

The power of perseverance I was born in Santa Monica, California...

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Mike D from Killswitch Engage

Mike D from Killswitch Engage

May 31, 2017

DarkIcon studio profile All of Killswitch Engage's album artwork and tour...

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Top 10 Albums that changed my life by Drew Zaragoza of Sinicle

Top 10 Albums that changed my life by Drew Zaragoza of Sinicle

August 25, 2017

Drew Zaragoza is the front man for LA Power Trio Sinicle. He has led the band for over a decade. Los Angeles power trio Sinicle combine the groove of Heavy...

Top 10 Bands that inspired my music by Drew Rizzo of Midnite Hellion

Top 10 Bands that inspired my music by Drew Rizzo of Midnite Hellion

August 22, 2017

Drew Rizzo is the drummer and founder of Trenton, NJ’s own MIDNITE HELLION, a US Heavy Metal band formed in 2011.  He eats, breathes, and sleeps Heavy Metal, and here’s...

Metastazis & Au Dessus: End of Chapter (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre)

Metastazis & Au Dessus: End of Chapter (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre)

July 21, 2017

There were no specific directions, the band gave me total freedom to provide my interpretation of the title. I interpreted 'End of a chapter' as plain death. And I wanted...

Robert Schober aka Roboshobo & Ghost: Cirice (Universal)

Robert Schober aka Roboshobo & Ghost: Cirice (Universal)

July 14, 2017

‘Cirice’ concept was inspirited by Brian De Palma film ‘Carrie’. The idea originated with Papa himself. He wanted to set the video in a school and do a talent show...

Napalm Death & Frode Sylthe: Apex Predator, Easy Meat (Century Media)

Napalm Death & Frode Sylthe: Apex Predator, Easy Meat (Century Media)

July 7, 2017

The band have been very much involved in the process of making this album artwork. And they tend to have a lot of ideas in which direction it all should...

Nestor Avalos & Bloodbath: Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records)

Nestor Avalos & Bloodbath: Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville Records)

June 30, 2017

We started from the concept of the band and the name of the album 'Grand Morbid Funeral'. This was the determinant factor for the whole process 'a place of plague...

Sikth & Dan Mumford: Opacities (Peaceville Records)

Sikth & Dan Mumford: Opacities (Peaceville Records)

June 23, 2017

I have known most of the guys in SikTh for quite a long time, I grew up in Watford, the same town that SikTh came from, and was playing in...

Obituary & Andreas Marschall: Inked in Blood (Relapse Records)

Obituary & Andreas Marschall: Inked in Blood (Relapse Records)

June 16, 2017

The idea for ‘Inked in Blood’ was developed by the Tardy brothers and me, based on an early suggestion sketch, when the band decided to move visually in a different...

Michael Berberian from E-Kunst

Michael Berberian from E-Kunst

June 9, 2017

The art of E-Kunst Mostly known as the founder of the record label Season of Mist, Michael S. Berberian has been using metal festival for years as an alibi to visit...

Camden Rocks Festival

Camden Rocks Festival

May 12, 2017

Camden Rocks Festival, established in 2009, is an exclusive festival held in London’s notorious Camden Town bringing you the best selection of rock, indie, metal and alternative music. Camden has...

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

"The young Rossetti was encouraged by his cosmopolitan parents to use his vivid imagination to develop his passionate interests of drawing and writing. All his life Rossetti was torn between his twin loves of poetry and painting - to such an extent that he regarded the two disciplines as inseparable. Arguably, with his facility and interest in both disciplines, he did himself a disservice as he never dedicated himself to either pursuit sufficiently to become a true master. In his youth he spent hours in the British Museum Reading Room soaking up as much literature as he could, to the detriment of his painting. Because of this he never developed the facility and ability of technique that would have helped him to become one of the really great painters; however he did become widely-read in German, French, and Italian.

"Rossetti took the inspiration for his drawings from stories by his favorite authors, notably Shakespeare, Coleridge, Poe, Goethe, and, in particular, his chief obsession, Dante, with whom he felt a close affinity. Indeed he frequently annotated his paintings usually on the frame - with poems and texts to explain and develop the pictorial narrative and often in particular explaining the elaborate symbolism. For example, for his first real P.R.B. painting The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, which he painted in Holman Hunt's studio (at the same time as Hunt was painting Rienzi), he wrote two explanatory sonnets on the frame describing the meaning of the dove, the lamp, the rose, and the vine and his use of the symbolism of color: gold for charity, blue for faith, green for hope, and white for temperance.

"Despite his lessons at the R.A., Rossetti never really got to grips with oil painting, and, discouraged by the academic teaching, he dropped out of the school and went instead to study under Ford Madox Brown who had distinct European leanings in his work. Rossetti had been swept away by his colorful, but naturalistic interpretations of stories, and his medieval-like pictures from stories by some of the great authors of English literature, all done in a Nazarene style. Rossetti met Brown after writing him such a flattering letter that the latter thought that he was just making fun of him and went round to remonstrate with the young man armed with a big stick. However, an initially distressed Rossetti managed to convince the skeptical Brown that he was indeed sincere in his praise and then, deeply flattered, Brown agreed to give him free painting lessons. These consisted of academic studies of bottles, jars, and phials of paint. Rossetti, restless as ever, was quickly bored and after a few months turned to his new friends, Holman Hunt and Millais, for advice and encouragement.

"In common with the other Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti met some critical hostility - although none of the vilification fired at his friends - for his early paintings. By 1850 he decided to try a work altogether more ambitious and much bigger physically. The first subject he chose was inspired by his contemporary, the poet Browning, but nothing came of it; he tried again with a picture of Dante and Beatrice, but he also abandoned this effort and had nothing to show at the R.A. exhibition of 1851. All this was symptomatic of a greater problem and after 1850 he gave up exhibiting in public; he had always been the least productive of the triumvirate, partly due to his lack of skill with oil paints but rather more to do with his chronic inability to actually get around to finishing a painting before getting distracted by another subject.

"He worked painfully slowly, taking enormous amounts of time to get just the tiniest detail true to life. Ruskin, recognising his failings, tried encouraging him actually to finish a painting, but to little avail. Instead he turned much of his time and attention to writing poems and producing drawings - his favourite medium -and watercolors largely inspired by his readings. All the while he was progressing further and further away from Pre-Raphaelite modernism until he gave up contemporary subjects altogether and concentrated instead on old stories and legends. He also developed his own unique approach to using watercolors which, in essence, involved applying intricate layers of hatched and stippled color with a dryish brush, to produce a finished work that was not unlike art glass in effect.

"Rossetti's themes often revolved around women, who, he believed, held the mystery of existence within themselves. He saw them as magical beings, shrouded in secrets and sensuality and he frequently explored the themes of female virtue, beauty, and passion until he excluded all other subjects completely. Such women he set into stories mainly from Dante, the Bible, and in particular, Morte d'Arthur.

"Around 1853 Rossetti met and fell in love with Elizabeth Siddal, and for a period she obsessed him. Her face recurs again and again in his work, particularly in his richly detailed watercolors. They became engaged but Rossetti, ever the romantic, fell in love again, this time in Oxford in 1857, with the stunningly beautiful Jane Burden, then only 17 years old. She modelled for La Pia de' Tolomei and Rossetti, despite his best endeavors, found himself helplessly drawn to her. She did not return his feelings and married William Morris instead. Rossetti loved her from a distance for the rest of his life and painted her likeness again and again in his later years. Jane, more even than Lizzie, became the archetypal Pre-Raphaelite beauty, with her strong sensual face and masses of long flowing hair. They remained good and close friends long after her love for William Morris evaporated (and his for her).

"After trying his hand at illustration using woodcuts - to varying degrees of success - Rossetti turned again to exploring Arthurian subjects. He made a scant living out of selling small, jewel-like watercolors to a select group of collectors, among whom Ruskin was one of the most important. He also painted a series of watercolors which were bought by William Morris as he finished them. Still these Arthurian/medieval courtly romance subjects galvanized him most and these culminated in a commission to decorate the Oxford Union Building in 1857. Needing someone to pose for Mary Magdelene, he hunted around trying a number of models, the most significant of which was Fanny Carnforth, a vivacious Londoner, who became in succession (probably) his model, mistress, and housekeeper. The work entailed in the Union Building was too much for a single artist to complete alone, so Rossetti recruited a group of young friends to help. They did not give themselves a name, but history has dubbed them the second wave of Pre-Raphaelites.

"Now working in Oxford, his love for Lizzie faded but he still married her in 1860 although she was known to be dying. Neither of them had much money and he neglected her, preferring instead to dally with other women. Her health deteriorated and she died tragically young, two years later, by her own hand with laudanum, although the official verdict was accidental death. Deeply saddened but perhaps secretly relieved, Rossetti got on with his own life, first moving from their marital home, which contained too many memories, to Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. He appears to come to terms with his feelings for Lizzie in 1864-70 while he painted Beata Beatrix, ostensibly about Dante and Beatrix, but really about Lizzie. True to form, the painting is full of symbolism: the red dove is an emblem of death, while the sundial is pointing at the hour of nine, the time of her death; the poppy 'in her hands is the clearest indication of all, bringing as it does the sleep of death, in her case the opiate laudanum.

"With the move to Chelsea, Rossetti changed other aspects of his life. He stopped writing poetry - he had thrown the manuscripts of his poems into Lizzie's grave - and gave up painting Arthurian subjects. Most importantly, he stopped seeing John Ruskin who had done so much to support him, especially in the difficult early years. The human company he kept was no longer excitingly bohemian but outright disreputable.

"He also developed a strange fascination for animals which he started collecting in alarming numbers: wombats were a particular favorite, but he also had owls, woodchucks, parrots, peacocks, dormice, rabbits, kangaroos, wallabies, even a racoon, salamanders, lizards, a jackass and, last but not least, a Brahmin bull.

"By this time Rossetti had given up all pretence of painting modern morality subjects and instead devoted himself to painting images of women in all their beauty. The compositions he put them in invariably conveyed his own personal state of mind and emotions. In the early days of his infatuation with Lizzie, his pictures of women conveyed innocence and virginal simplicity; in time these became much richer and more sensual as their relationship became physical. Later still, as his love for her faded, the paintings convey disenchantment and disappointment, of lost promises, wishing and hoping for the unattainable. The passage of time becomes a progressively important theme: everything is measured in time and man's slow passage through life to inevitable death.

"Inevitably Rossetti lost his good looks, becoming fat and balding. He drank altogether too much and indulged in drugs. His overriding fear became that he would lose his sight, as his father had before him - this reckless abuse of his body left him sleepless and morbid, and his doctors diagnosed strain and nervous tension. To prevent insomnia he drank whisky before taking 10 grains of chloral; by the time he died he boasted he was taking 180 grains a day.

"A public attack on him in 1871 in an infamous pamphlet entitled The Fleshy School of Poetry confirmed his hitherto paranoid view that everyone was out to do him down. The following year he was so deeply depressed that he tried suicide, with laudanum. The attempt failed but his health never recovered. He went from bad to worse until he was partially paralysed by the lethal cocktail of morphia, laudanum, and chloral he kept taking, plus the whisky, claret, and brandy he drank to excess. He became a virtual recluse but throughout this time he still communicated by letter to a few select friends none of whom realized the desperate state of his health - most notably Ford Madox Brown and Jane Morris, until he died 10 years later."

From: "The Pre-Raphaelites", by Sandra Forty

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