Metallica share artwork created by Slipknot's Clown, My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way and more for their 2012 exhibition Obey Your Master

Artwork created for Metallica's Obey Your Master art show
(Image credit: Metallica Black Box, Shawn Crahan, Gerard Way)

Metallica have unveiled another exhibit in their 'Black Box' virtual museum, sharing bespoke art work created by Slipknot's Shawn Crahan, My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way, Black Veil Brides' frontman Andy Biersack and more for their 2012 art show Obey Your Master.

The exhibition arose from the Californian quartet challenging  "artists from the worlds of fine art, fashion, film, music, and skate to interpret Metallica's songs in their own unique way", and took place in Los Angeles on January 20, 2012.

Others artists whose work featured in the show at the Exhibit A Gallery in Los Angeles included skateboard legend Steve Cabellero, 'Snaggletooth' designer Joe Petagno, LA musician Sammi Doll and fashion designer/musician Chloe Trujillo, wife of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. 

Shawn Crahan created a piece for the song Damage Inc. from Master Of Puppets, while Gerard Way chose to take inspiration from ...And Justice For All single One.

The text accompanying Clown's piece, Damage Inc. reads: 'Shawn 'Clown' Crash is best known as Slipknot's co-founder and percussionist. Crahan has directed music videos, helmed a film, and was primarily responsible for Slipknot's 2012 The Apocalyptic Nightmare photo book.

"Sometimes I don't even like to admit that I'm 'an artist,' because then maybe I become a cliché, and then my hunger for it leaves," Crahan said. "It's taken me twenty years to convince people what the word 'art' truly means. I use the word very loosely, since to me, it represents everything."

Crahan's mixed-media sculpture dedicated to Damage, Inc. was a striking centerpiece that anchored the Obey Your Master exhibition.'

Gerard Way's contribution to the exhibit is accompanied by the following text:

'Lead vocalist and co-founder of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way is also a comic writer and artist. A firm believer in the healing power of music, Gerard has described the mission statement of My Chemical Romance as such: "The main thing that we've always wanted to do was to save people's lives. That sounds Mother Teresa-ish and outlandish, but it really does happen. It does make a huge difference. We've seen it in action."

Way's contribution to Obey Your Master was an installation of painted and fabricated landmines inspired by One. Way explained that his original idea "was to get a pile of landmines to do as an installation. I asked a friend of mine to fabricate and cast a ton of these so they'd be cost-effective. Getting actual landmines, decommissioned or even replicas of landmines, is pretty much impossible. There were a couple of approaches I tried, but I decided upon a pile of destroyed, fragmented landmines."

You can watch footage of the exhibition below: 

72 Seasons, Metallica's first studio album for almost seven years, is set for release on April 14 via the band's own Blackened imprint. The quartet will head out on tour across Europe, the US and beyond this year, with gigs scheduled well into 2024.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.