Heavy Metal Armour: A Visual Study of Battle Jackets (Book)
Customized denim battle jackets are worn by heavy metal fans to show their devotion to the music and subcultures of metal. Unique study outlines the significance of battle jackets in metal scenes and makes connections to wider historic and contemporary culture. Original paintings of jackets and photographic portraits of the wearers. 80 col. illus.
Since the 1970s, customized denim “battle jackets” have been worn by heavy metal fans to signify their devotion to the music and subcultures of metal. Embellished with patches, badges, and studs, these jackets are works of art that communicate the values of metal to the world at large. This book features a series of detailed paintings that visually document examples of jackets alongside photographic portraits of the fans that wear them. Reaching across a range of fields from art theory to ethnography and subcultural studies and informed by a series of interviews with metal fans, this book considers the significance of battle jackets in metal scenes and traces a lineage of customized clothing starting in the Middle Ages.
Tom Cardwell is an artist and researcher specialising in contemporary painting, customized clothing and heavy metal subcultures. He is a senior lecturer in painting at Camberwell, University of the Arts, London.