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Artist  Robert Hardgrave and his <em>Death Shield</em>, 2008
Artist Robert Hardgrave and his Death Shield, 2008


Jan. 4, 2011

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Art-world metalheads, take note! The New Year opens with a large-scale Metallica tribute exhibition, Jan. 20-Mar. 23, 2012, at Exhibit A, a Los Angeles gallery that appropriately doubles as a skate shop and is co-owned by artist Richard Villa III and pro skateboarder Tony Alva.

“The connection between music and art has always been a very powerful one for us,” reads a statement on the band’s website, “so the idea to show a collection of art inspired by our songs seemed like it could be pretty unique and special.”

Each artist chose a Metallica song to inspire their contribution to the exhibition, which is titled “Obey Your Masters.” Many of the participants are musicians themselves, including Gerard Way, a School of Visual Arts grad and singer of the emo-punk band My Chemical Romance; Slipknot drummer Shawn Crahan; and Metallica’s newest bassist, Robert Trujillo (who collaborated with his wife, Chloe Trujillo).

Some contributors are known to the art world, like Shepard Fairey and Robert Hardgrave, but there’s also a colorful assortment of artists from other related industries, like Norwegian illustrator Per Øyvind Haagensen, who has produced franchise art for the Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft and the Walking Dead; commercial artist Nate Van Dyke, who says he’s known for drawing “heavy metal humans” and “future primitive apes”; fetish artist Brian M. Viveros; album cover artist Joe Petagno, whose paintings “never fail to smash the retina like a broad sword to the skull”; Chilean painter Victor Castillo; skateboarding legend Steve Caballero; band photographer Chad Michael Ward; and San Francisco tattoo artist Lango.

Fans who score an invitation to the opening night party can meet Metallica in person.

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