Tuesday, August 25, 2009

V Magazine gets a little Norwegian wood

Overwhelmed by the staggeringly creative makeup in the 96-page Women/Supreme model supplement to V61? You are not alone. Various images of the covers have been floating around the fash blogosphere, but a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot reveals a striking series of ghoulish faces rendered in stark black and white by makeup artist Janeen Witherspoon, with styling by Nicholas Grasa and hair by Rita Marmor, Leonardo Manetti and Franco Gobbi. The series was shot by Paul Rowland, who tells V's blog that he was inspired by “Joel-Peter Witkin, paganism, mysticism, vampires, witches—all the things I love.” But did Rowland neglect to mention one key reference? Here is a series of screen grabs from the video.

And below is a series of images from True Norwegian Black Metal, a book by photographer Peter Beste that was released in May 2008 and is now on its third printing (and thanks to Kent for the tip).

Beste spent five years documenting the Norwegian black metal scene - which has been described, perhaps alarmingly, as Norway’s biggest cultural export.

Although apparently a little more civilised these days - Beste for one looks to have survived the experience - the roots of Norwegian black metal lie in Satanism and Norse pagan mythology and in the early 1990s, this underground metal genre became notorious in the wake of a string of violent crimes.

We’re talking murder, suicide, alleged cannibalism and as many as 50 cases of arson and attempted arson (churches, natch). GG Allin, eat your heart out.

Beyond the standard issue hardcore rocker accoutrements of black leather, spikes, studs and chains, Norwegian black metal-ites have a propensity for smearing their faces with ghoulish black and white “corpse paint” makeup, which would appear to have as much to do with 1970s rockers Alice Cooper and KISS as it does with early German expressionist cinema and the Oskerei, a legion of dead souls in Norse mythology.

Norwegian black metal is also the subject of the 2008 Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites documentary Until the light takes us, which had its world premier at the AFI FEST in Los Angeles on October 31st 2008.

While Paul Rowland's Supreme/Women photo series appears in a limited edition supplement to V61, Lady Gaga is on the actual cover of the edition.

In an interesting coda, it emerges that the director of Gaga's new Paparazzi video is Jonas Ã…kerlund, a former member of pioneering Swedish black metal outfit Bathory.

1. peter beste via news.figment.cc
2. peter beste via gawker
3. peter beste via michaelcarter.ca

4. peter beste via nemotography


Anonymous said...

maybe those are by hanna liden?

Anonymous said...

The Norwegian BM scene had nothing to do with Satanism.

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