Dean Zeus Colman’s artwork has given us his drug of choice, which is hand molded Ecstasy tablets cast in plaster. His series Love Is A Drug includes sculptures of Ecstasy tablets of all different shapes and sizes that actually exist in real life. Knowing this bit of information, it is shocking to see how many different designs and even logos are imprinted on these little tablets. There are more common images like smiley faces, money signs, and stars on the drug, but a few have images that may be of surprise to you. The Mortal Combat symbol, the UPS logo, and even the beloved Bart Simpson’s head has also been included in this eclectic variety of Ecstasy tablets.
Zeus, based out of London, grew up involved in a subculture where Ecstasy tablets were often present. The drugs were readily available, not surprisingly, while working in the Rave scene. Zeus has long been working as a street artist and has been tagging since the 1980’s, which has influenced and led to the making of Love Is A Drug. Other sculptures of this artist reflect this lifestyle and draw off inspiration from graffiti such as his three-dimensional graffiti text constructed from glass and wood.
Love Is A Drug is currently on view at Prescription Art in Brighton, England, which focuses on street and graffiti art. The exhibition features thirty-six limited edition, larger than life Ecstasy tablets. (via The Creator’s Project)
Renegades, a photographic series by Frank Marshal, captures the Heavy Metal subculture in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As we know, Heavy Metal audiences have traditionally been Caucasian and Eurocentric. All of these things, however, are not an obvious description of Sub-Saharan Africa. Marshall’s portraits offer a vision of an unlikely Heavy Metal subculture in Botswana, his subjects are an anomaly, a reaction to a strictly occidental genre. Marshall aptly labels his subjects as renegades, as he renders portraits of rebellious individuals who form part of “an ulterior, emergent rootedness where traditional identities and political histories in Botswana are subverted”. Furthermore, Marshal’s portraits break down established archetypes of ethnicity, cultural identity, and ideology. These individuals are on the fringe of a society that is already situated within the ‘geographical and ideological’ space of the Other, meaning that they are already viewed as exotic by the Occident.
The peculiar thing here is, that we see the ‘Other’ under an completely unpredictable light.
Tribe-like, Heavy Metal possesses an unconscious sense of brotherhood that transcends race and nationality in the context of Renegades. So too, Marshall’s renegades unpack popular stereotypes, transcending traditions, blurring the boundaries between liberty and fraternity, helping to delineate the power structures inherent to Heavy Metal, which may be misinterpreted as a trace of an oppressive past. This is in keeping with the extremism of Heavy Metal ideology, embracing anything that popular culture finds unacceptable.