NADER SADEK 

nader sadek

THE ARTIST Born in Egypt, schooled in Minnesota, and now living in New York, Nader Sadek is obsessed with petroleum. Versatile as both a medium and a metaphor, petrol is essentially, as he puts it, "a collection of dead things" that has rotted in the earth, returned to enslave the human population, and remains the root of much evil in the world. Sadek also revels in the material's gelatinous consistency, which helps his creepy objects wobble somewhere between meat and machine.

THE ART Sadek cast his sculpture Exhume/Consume, whose title echoes a Carcass song, by layering dozens of thin sheets of quick-drying, silicon-based petroleum into molds. The process self-consciously mimics the subdermal anatomy of human skin, and allows Sadek to paint in veins and abrasions by hand as he goes along — all while blasting Deicide for dark inspiration. In his finished installation, a hollowed black tree trunk juts out of a pile of broken glass, symbolizing the natural roots of petroleum in the Middle Eastern desert. Suspended above it is a "flesh engine" hanging on a meat hook. It's meant to evoke one of the artist's favorite themes: the bitter, self-sustaining cycle in which petroleum, born of decay, produces only more death. "The engine is a suggestion," he says. "What if we just use our dead to fuel our energy needs? It seems like we're killing each other for [petroleum] anyway. We're dying for it. So it's morbid humor: 'We might as well take the shortcut of using our dead bodies.' "

METAL CRED A designer of petroleum-based props and masks for Sunn O))) and Mayhem, Sadek assembled a murderers' row of death-metal and black-metal stars — including members of Morbid Angel and Cryptopsy — to record a "curated" collaboration that served as a soundtrack to a series of his drawings. The album, In the Flesh, has also spawned several creepy videos featuring a fleshy, hairy guitar that gushes black crude.

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