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Entartete Kunts (Book Review)
Released: 2013, Ajna
It seems the market for Metal related art, coffee table books keeps growing. ENTARTE KUNTS is one of a number of recent publications in this style and the title, despite sounding vaguely rude in the English language, is a play-on-words of the Germanic phrase ‘Degenerate Art’. Degenerate indeed! It seems that some people like me will never tire of looking at grim, dark things. Do not leave this coffee table book out when the mother-in-law shows up for diner! I like the way it starts. In the Foreword, Patrick Rosenkrantz states,
“Be Warned. This book contains apocalyptic images and midnight apparitions. If you enjoy that sort of thing you are already looking at the pictures instead of reading the introduction, so a forewarning is totally unnecessary for you. But if you are of a more sensitive disposition, or subscribe to the innate goodness of humanity, put this book down now!”
ENTARTETE KUNTS is a large, glossy, collection of dark art than spans 343 pages. The theme of much of the art represented is Metal and Punk, or at least was created by artists who are associated with those genres of music. Over the span of a few years (2007-2009) art museum/gallery curator Dennis Dread showed three exhibitions of ‘degenerate art’. To commemorate the success of those exhibits he collected the works into this very impressive collection.
The book is essentially divided into three main sections each one for exhibit with an entry for each artist that participated in the original exhibitions. There is a write up on each artist, listed alphabetically. I found the foreword and Dreads introduction to be especially entertaining and enlightening with broad discussion of what constitutes ‘Underground Art’, summarized as ‘Things you can get into trouble for drawing!’ It’s all here, naked chicks and flaming skulls and flaming chicks and naked skulls from many of our most beloved and recognized artists; Joe Petagno, (Motorhead, Alice Cooper) Ed Repka, (Death, Megadeth) Kristin Whalin (Dissection, Bathory,) and Drew Elliot (Amorphis, Hellion). The art is grotesque, macabre and bizarre the way good Metal art should be.
Dread has captured the spirit of underground art from the comedic to the dark, the cartoonlike to realistic and compiled it all lovingly into a fine book that represents some of the best and worst images from the dark side.