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Load
 
1999 - Watercolors and Correction Fluid on Paper

This painting was, if I remember, the second watercolor painting in the series, just after Midnight Magic. The name comes from Metallica's magnificent 1996 album; essentially the Physical Graffiti of our generation.

One reason that I wanted to paint was to express, visually, the images in my head when I think of great music. I'm usually remembering albums by color and texture for some reason (another reason why I never needed to take drugs, Starbucks nonwithstanding). I've always envisioned Load as a crash-course of colors, so that's what I tried to paint.

I can't say if this is how I would paint Load today; probably not. This is very much a reflection of my abilities at the time, and I was basically just screwing around. Painting was a labor of love, with things like exhibitions and websites and sales was something far off. Which is probably the best mindset to have when creating.

Metallica's Load album is what, back in the '70s, they called a "rock album." It ran the spectrum: pop, metal, blues, country. That it was reviled for not being a speed metal rehash of Kill Em All demonstrates the cultural impoverishment and lack of diversity in our music. Everything is so micro-marketed towards 13-year-olds, we've lost touch with the essential truth: rock-n-roll is so perfectly American because it is a melting pot.