Back in March, social media was flooded with posts mourning the unfortunate passing of illustrator and Swamp Thing co-creator, Bernie Wrightson after losing his long battle with brain cancer. Big name artist after big name artist began popping up on platforms like instagram and twitter throughout the day to post any number of Wrightson‘s classic images from his DC and Marvel work; Steven King‘s Creepshow, for which he drew the poster and illustrated the comic; or one of his beautifully intricate black and white pieces created for Mary Shelly‘s Frankenstein. In the comic world, heavy hitters like Neal Adams, Jim Lee, and Todd Macfarlane all came out to speak on his impact and the doors that he opened, while dark, horror, and fine artists like Chet Zar, who’d worked with Wrightson and proudly admitted to “riding [his] coattails;” and Skinner; spoke of how they were indebted and/or inspired by the game-changing detail and soul of his work. Among others who chimed in regarding their admiration for and influence of the man were filmmakers like Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim), who referred to him as “the greatest gothic artist of all time;” and Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer): as well as author Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Coraline), who said he was the first comic artist whose work he ever loved. The Walking Dead even paid tribute to Wrightson on the season finale. But while his legacy looms large and even involves concept art for films like Ghostbusters, there are many people who first became aware of Bernie “Berni” Wrightson through his character of Captain Lincoln F. Sternn from the 1981 animated cult classic, Heavy Metal, as well as the pages of the magazine that the film was born out of. Wrightson was the first American artist to be featured in the fantasy magazine and was indicative of the level of talent that the publication has consistently showcased since being founded in 1977.
Just two days after Wrightson‘s passing, the highly accomplished illustrator/painter, James Jean, known for his work on the DC series Fables and currently working with Prada, posted on his instagram that he “finally fulfilled a childhood dream of being on the cover of Heavy Metal Magazine“, an honor that places him alongside such major luminaries as HR Giger. While the late illustrator’s influence is massive, Berni remains only one of many artists of tremendous significance whose work has graced the pages of Heavy Metal over the last 4 decades, a magazine that has become iconic for showcasing the work of these talents and, in turn, holds so much value for those who grew up on it, studied its pages, and eventually might get their own opportunity to be connected with it in some way. Credited with bringing such artists as Moebius to the US attention for the first time, the publication’s continued impact on the new contemporary art scene and beyond cannot be overstated. From featuring reviews and articles covering sci-fi, animation, underground comics, and rock music within its content to its venture into the video game world, Heavy Metal has covered a ton of ground and made fans across mediums. In fact, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator, Kevin Eastman grew up loving the magazine so much that he purchased it in 1992 and, even after eventually selling it in 2014, remained on as publisher and minority investor.
This Saturday, July 14th, Copro Gallery will pay tribute to the 40th Anniversary of Heavy Metal Magazine in the form of a group art show. Known for showcasing and introducing plenty of visual talent in their own right, the world famous Santa Monica gallery will bring in an impressive selection of over eighty visual artists to contribute in the exhibit which is set to include “art from Heavy Metal’s 40 year history of publishing, new paintings and drawings inspired by the magazine, cel art from the film, limited edition prints, vintage film posters, T-shirts, comics , vintage magazines, memorabilia and more.” But beyond the vintage artwork and brand new creations, Heavy Metal and Copro will further be “releasing new limited edition prints each week available at the gallery and online.” The exhibit will run until August 19th, but as always, we recommend getting out to the opening, if at all possible. For this one, many of the artists will be in attendance. Plus, it will include artist signings and even some live body painting — hopefully, something along the lines of what Giger did for Blondie‘s Debbie Harry on the magazine’s December 1981 issue.
Check out some additional info on Heavy Metal via the press release
First published in 1977, Heavy Metal, the world’s foremost illustrated fantasy magazine, explores fantastic and surrealistic worlds, alternate realities, science fiction and horror, in the past present and future. Writers and illustrators from around the world take you to places you never dreamed existed. Heavy Metal was the first magazine to bring European legends Moebius, Tanino Libertore, Phillippe Druillet, Enki Bilal, Pepe Moreno to the U.S. as well as showcasing American superstars Richard Corben and Berni Wrightson. The magazine continues to showcase amazing new talent as well as allowing established creators to have “carte blanche”. Heavy Metal magazine is now published six times per year. Most issues feature one serialized graphic novel, several short stories, an artist gallery and artist studio section, a dossier and editorial pages. Featuring Grant Morrison as editor-in-chief and Kevin Eastman as publisher, this new era promises to boldly go where no magazine has gone before. Explore ancient secrets, forgotten worlds and savage futures…
And here is an extensive list of many of the folks providing pieces for this event…
LIST OF CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS
ALBERT CUELLAR, ALESSANDRA PISANO, ALEX HORLEY, ALEX PARDEE, ALEX ROSS, ALLEN WILLIAMS, ANTHONY AUSGANG, ANTHONY PALUMBO, BEAST BROTHERS, BECCA, BILLY NORRBY, BONETHROWER, BRETT HERMAN, BRIAN DESPAIN, BRIAN SMITH, BRIAN VIVEROS, BROM, BRUCE D. MITCHELL, CAM RACKAM, CARIN HAZMAT, CARLOS HUANTE, CARLOS TORRES, CHET ZAR, CHRIS ACHILLEOS, CHRIS LEIB, CHRISTOPHER ULRICH, GREG ‘CRAOLA’ SIMKINS, DAMIEN ECHOLS, DAN QUINTANA, DAVE DEVRIES, DAVE LEBOW, Dave MacDowell, DAVE PALUMBO, DAVID HARTMAN, DAVID STOUPAKIS, E.M. GIST, EVE SKYLAR, FLORIAN BERTMER, FRANK FORTE, GAIL POTOCKI, GREGG GIBBS, IL MESCALITO, JIM PAVELEC, JOHN MAHONEY, JOHNIE THORNTON, JOSEPH M. LINSNER, KEN KELLEY, KEVIN EASTMAN, KRYSS SAPP, LEE SHAMEL, LORENZO SPERLONGA, LUIS ROYO, LUKE CHUEH, MARK BODE, MARK COVELL, MARK GARRO, MARK TODD, MATT GORDON, MATTHEW BONE, MICHAEL C. HAYES, MICHAEL ROSNER, MENTON3, MOEBIUS, MOLEN BROTHERS, NATE VAN DYKE, NIKKO HURTADO, NYCHOS, OLIVIA DE BERARDINIS, PAUL ROUSTAN, PEPE MORENO, PEACH MOMOKO, PETER GRIC, ROBERT BOWEN, Robert Morello, ROBERT STEVEN CONNETT, ROGER DEAN, RON ENGLISH, RYAN BROWN, SAM SHEARON, SERGIO BARRALE, SHARK TOOF, SHAWN BARBER, SIMON BISLEY, SKINNER, STAN DARK ART, STEPHAN FRANCK, STEPHEN BOWER, STEPHANIE INAGAKI, TANINO LIBERATORE, TERRY WOLFINGER, THOMAS GIESEKE, TIM MOLLOY, TIM VIGIL, TRAVIS LOUIE, WILLIAM BROAD, WILLIAM STOUT, VAUGHN BODE, YACINE ELGHORRI AND MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!!
Check out a selection of preview images below, after the following event details.
HEAVY METAL 40th Anniversary Art Show
Saturday, July 15th, 2017
Copro Gallery –
Bergamot Station Arts Complex
2525 Michigan Ave , Unit T5
Santa Monica , CA 90404
Opening is all ages
Many artists will be in attendance + artist signings
Live body painting
Exhibit runs until Saturday, August 19th
Gallery hours: Wed. – Sat. 1 – 6pm
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