Art That Kills examines the point where art meets crime. The book documents a diabolical era, 1984-2001. It chronicles the evolution of a new aesthetic movement, a terrifying fringe of Underground Art where enlightenment and depravity combined. Murder, rape, torture, pedophilia, cannibalism, drugs, sedition, racism and blasphemy mixed with literature, history, politics, news, movies, TV, punk rock, philosophy and science. The book profiles a pantheon of dissidents and deviants, presents excerpts from their work, re-lives their crimes, and attempts to analyze an elusive era. The scene described herein is essentially the "second generation" of American Underground Art (the "first generation" ran from '66 through the 70s). All varieties of taboos and criminal advocacy found confluence, beyond "confrontation" or "shock." Pure sadism drove it. Sexual psychosis flavored it. Frustration with politics, big business and mass entertainment fueled it.
The artists, from a cross-section of American life, ranged from the abused to the enlightened, from successes to also-rans. Some basked in the limelight; some barely acknowledged their creativity. They all wanted to hurt others in profound ways. Some have succeeded; one presides over an aesthetic empire, one is the world's biggest rock star, one sits on Death Row, one is a transsexual, others languish in prison. Some are dead. Prosecution, censorship and banishment hounded them all, regardless of rank. Including: JOHN AES-NIHIL GG ALLIN FRED BERGER NICK BOUGAS SHANE BUGBEE JOE COLEMAN DEATH IN JUNE MIKE DIANA PETER H GILMORE JIM GOAD JONATHAN HAYNES STEPHEN KASNER RICHARD KERN ANTON LAVEY STANTON LAVEY SONDRA LONDON LYDIA LUNCH MARILYN MANSON JAMES MASON MICHAEL MOYNIHAN ADAM PARFREY GENESIS P-ORRIDGE SHAUN PARTRIDGE BOYD RICE JOHATHAN SHAW PETER SOTOS ROBERT N TAYLOR JG THIRLWELL and many other iconoclastic artists, publishers, magazines and movements. Introduction by Carlo McCormick.