Modern Art Meets Modern Metal

Okay, this will be a bit experimental and personal.

I have become increasingly aware of a matching in my mind between some of my favorite bands and painters. I’ve noticed that the matchings are made – unconsciously – according to several features. The most obvious to me were visual structures, colors and textures of the paintings on one side; and musical structures and sound (equivalent to texture) on the other. This of course reflects a matching between some ideas/ideologies behind the visual and musical artworks as well as the personalities of the artists – even the way the musicians perform, in some cases. (I won’t deny a small influence of the visual identities of the bands, and their lyrics; I’m not really a lyrics person.)

After I became aware of a few unconscious associations, I went on to add a few more to the series. I tried to restrict my choices to metal bands, partly because those are the ones I am most familiar with, and partly because I thought that this would be a fresh thing.

I selected one song to represent each band and embedded it below the painting that represents the related painter. Last warning: these examples may not mean much to people who are not familiar with metal music and/or modern art.


Jackson Pollock – Lamb of God



Kazimir Malevich – Chimaira



Willem de Kooning — Gojira



Robert Delaunay — Slipknot



Franz Kline — Dry Kill Logic



Clyfford Still — Mudvayne



Mark Rothko — Devildriver



A final note for any interested metal music listeners: you may complain that my selection of bands is very limited (almost entirely mainstream NWOAHM), at least compared to these painters from a larger variety of countries and periods. Yes, the selections are limited with my favorite mainstream bands (partly in order to make this post interesting to more people), and that’s not a problem for my argument since I don’t claim an absolute connection between these specific artists; I rather want to make a general case for a possible relationship between painting and metal music.

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