KARLYNN HOLLAND

holland art

THE ARTIST Everyone needs a hobby. Karlynn Holland's is forensic reconstruction: the sculptural act of putting broken heads back together again. The Brooklyn-based artist is no professional crime-scene attendant — "I have no interest in being a police officer," she says — but her knack for three-dimensional anatomy comes through in her "demon portraits" series, in which she depicts her subjects the way they'd appear . . . in hell. "They're a collaboration," she says. "I always let the person I'm drawing pick what they become. But I'm always thinking, 'If something actually grew out of your skull, how would it fit in space?' "

THE ART The striking, meticulous line drawings that Holland will be showing in Newton began as preparation for her demon portraits. "I needed a way to warm up my hand and get the ink flowing through the pens," she recalls. "They were the practice before I would work on someone's face. I would trace the lines over and over and over again, and these scenes would build up. So they were preparation in a lot of ways, but then they had a life of their own that I found very compelling." Those warm-up doodles became a haunting series called "Black Forest," one of which was later used by Brooklyn black-metal lords Krallice.

METAL CRED Holland was in college, listening to Bach and Kurdish folk music, when she stumbled onto the heavy stuff. "Metal has been a huge influence on my life," she says. "I think it gave me permission to explore some of the darker shadows that I'd always had an interest in." Thanks to her work for Krallice and Dysrhythmia, she's become a go-to scrawler of metal logos (see sidebar). She also sculpted the head used on the cover of Nachtmystium's Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II. Coming soon: look for one of Holland's line drawings to adorn an upcoming solo-ukulele EP by Dysrhythmia and Gorguts guitarist Kevin Hufnagel.

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