All this Mayhem is a major exhibition of newly commissioned and recent work by internationally renowned, San Francisco-based artist Ben Venom that exemplifies his interest in the DIY aspect of heavy metal and punk rock culture combined with the tradition of quilting.
Venom creates stunning, expansive patchwork quilts and clothing that often incorporate skulls, tigers and heavy metal lyrics, with his practice framed within wider counterculture contexts, and the legacy of post-war American art and craft.
Venom’s early influences come from the street – punk rock, heavy metal, and the skateboard community. At the heart of the artist’s work is his use of re-purposed materials, such as fan donated band t-shirts, to create pieces contrasting the often menacing and iconic counterculture components of gangs, punk/metal music and the occult with the comforts of domesticity.
The works intermingle fine art and craft, dispelling gender stereotypes of contemporary quilting practice and expressing a fresh and irreverent sense of masculinity.
Featuring texts by Laura L. Camerlengo (Assistant Curator of Costume and Textiles Arts at de Young Museum, San Francisco) , and Lindsay Bishop (photographer/filmmaker, and Social Anthropology researcher at UCL, London).
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Ben Venom: All this Mayhem at mac Birmingham (22 June – 8 September 2019). This exhibition takes place during the city-wide Home of Metal festival in Birmingham, UK (summer 2019).