(96 pages, in full colours)
Kris Verwimp can be seen as the leading artist who accompanied the emergence of a new scene of extreme Metal artists in the 90s. Until now, his splendid work was only viewable on the numerous record covers he graced with his talent. Thankfully, this book presents a complete retrospective of Kris’ work from 1993 to now. “The Seventh Serpent” offers the great advantage to show paintings freed for the rather restrictive format of a CD cover, and stripped of the titles and the band logos mandatory on the record format. Quite logically, the book begins with the reproductions of various artworks done for ABSU commented by Sir Proscriptor Mc Govern himself; we have all in mind the now legendary “Sun Of Tiphareth” artwork, one of the most recognizable ever, and one of the most sensational too. Other designs which take the lion share here were destined to MARDUK (Kris has been a home artist for Osmose Productions when this label was more Black Metal oriented than today) and the Hungarian band SEAR BLISS (Kris’ personal friends). But of course, Kris was involved in illustrating tons and tons of records, be it CDs, demos, and LPs and t-shirts as well, and a great deal of them are featured here. The most formidable quality of Kris’ talent lies in the dream-inducing capacity it raises. The Metal music evokes mainly a world of pure fantasy, and the fact this technologically oriented musical genre is paradoxically rooted mainly in the past (be it real or phantasmal) found its most perfect visual expression here. Kris Verwimp brings into sight this larger-than-life aspect; he is only at ease picturing iron-clad ferocious warriors, grinning demons, aerial princesses or enchantresses, and atmospheric landscapes. And even if the actual subject matter of a peculiar painting could appear sinister per se, this is always the fantasy side of it that takes over in the end. Indeed, Kris Verwimp’s art is before all about the poetic side of things, even if it is a dark side. One can only dream for minutes, if not for hours contemplating these lavish paintings. Kris has a deep knowledge of what the world of fantasy is all about, and it shows. His works awake the hero / heroine who sleeps within each of us, and make sound echoes of long past magic iron ages more exciting than the no less cruel but far duller modern epoch we are forced to live in. Spiritually uplifting, all the paintings and designs featured in this books compliment our beloved musical universe with absolute perfection. Kris has not succumbed to the siren’s call of the modern technology to paint his visions, hence the organic quality of his work. This book was presented at an exhibition held in Antwerp between January and February 2005 and is limited to 400 copies. A wise move should be to acquire “The Seventh Serpent” without too much delay by contacting Kris directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org without forgetting to visit the personal website of this talented artist at http://home.tiscali.be/krisverwimp.