You Should Be Living: The Visual Language of Heavy Metal

The global influence of Heavy Metal reaches beyond music, the heritage of the region seeping into all corners of culture. At Wolverhampton Art Gallery You Should Be Living: The Visual Language of Heavy Metal, Capsule explored the impact Heavy Metal has had on visual art.



The exhibition

The featured artists, including Matius Faldbakken, Ben Venom, Harminder Judge and Amy Sarkisian, used typography, vintage t-shirts, sculpture and sound to explore the varying aesthetic features of Heavy Metal and its relationship to contemporary art. The artists, both national and international, take inspiration from the genre, whilst exploring notions of fantasy, chaos, performance and musical devotion.

‘You Should Be Living’ referenced the title track from the debut Napalm Death record ‘Scum’ and, thirty years after the formation of the band, a special collaborative piece was commissioned for this exhibition. French artist and grindcore fanatic Damien Deroubaix and Napalm Death founder Nicholas Bullen presented a sculptural construction containing text and abstractions, embedded video monitors, audio cables and microphones, referencing the work of both artists and the ‘Scum’ album.