Friday, August 28, 2009


Today's artwork challenge brings together 2 heavyweights from the punk rock art scene, one from the United States and one from the U.K. Like the Repka vs. Seagrave challenge in January and the Frazetta vs. Vallejo matchup that followed, we will be looking at several examples of each artists' work before making the final call. Nicholas Blinko and Brian "Pushead" Schroeder have both made the successful move from illustrating the covers of punk 7"s at the beginning of the 80's to hanging art in respected galleries in modern times. Both artists sang in influential bands in the early 80's, and both have grown to be icons in both music and the visual arts.

So buckle up, kids. This is going to be grueling.

In this corner...

Brian "Pushead" Schroeder

Band: Septic Death (1981-1986)

Born: Boise, Idaho, 1965 or '66 (accounts differ)

Currently resides: Boise, Idaho (?), maybe SF.

Style: Straightforward horror-themed punk-metal fare. Sometimes colorful, but mostly B&W in the 80's. Current metal artist John Baizley bites Pushead's style pretty hard.

Common themes: Skulls, gore, skateboarding, horror, psychedelia.

Past clients: Metallica, The Misfits, Septic Death, Hirax, Corrosion of Conformity, Dr. Octagon, Prong, Thrasher Magazine and Nike.

3D model based on Pushead art:

Pushead-designed skateboards:



Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst

Hirax - Raging Violence (I've bagged on this one before.)

Corrosion of Conformity - Animosity

And in this corner...

Nick Blinko

Band: The Magits and The S-Haters (1977-1980), Rudimentary Peni (1980-present)

Born: Sept. 4th, 1961, somewhere in England.

Currently resides: Abbots Langley, UK.

Style: Dense, paranoia-inducing compositions with minimal use of color. Comparisons between Blinko's work and that of James Ensor are frequent.

Common themes: Lovecraft, Catholicism, insanity, paranoid schizophrenia.

Past clients: Rudimentary Peni, Iron Lung, and Coil.


Rudimentary Peni - Death Church

Rudimentary Peni - Farce EP

Rudimentary Peni - No More Pain EP

Rudimentary Peni - Cacophony

Rudimentary Peni - Cacophony (alternate cover: Outer Himalayan release)

Iron Lung - Sexless/No Sex LP

The call: This is a tough one, due to their vastly different approaches to creating art. I'm going to have to put my money on Blinko, though, due to the complexity and detail in his work. He also never sold out and designed shoes for Nike.

But what do YOU GUYS think?


Rune said...

Blinko wins. Pushead is technically good, but I personally get a lot more out of looking at Blinkos more introverted stuff. It also fits really good with the music - Pushead is usually just cool cover art, Blinkos drawings are an integrated part of the package, it adds something to the music.

Trav said...

I vote for Pushead. Sell-out or not, the guy's got the illustrative chops. Half of Blinko's stuff, in my opinion, looks like a disturbed child created it.

Bicro said...

Pushead definitely. His shit looks lively and catches the eye, unlike the other drab crap.

Anonymous said...

That is a really tough call... I would have to say I prefer Pushead, in a superficial, esthetic way. Altough I have to agree with Rune. So yeah, I'm copping out.

ReallyGood@Wounding said...

As an American that grew up with Pushead designs, I admire his skills and have a certain comfort level with his themes. But I think what Trav said, "half of Blinko's stuff... looks like a disturbed child created it," makes Blinko's stuff far more interesting to me. If I had to choose one to stick on my wall, it would be Blinko. However, on a T-shirt I would go with Pushead. Maybe you could/should pit Pushead versus John Baizley for the crowd's reaction.

Anonymous said...

In Blinko's I see Schiele, Klimt, etc. - like he really studied art history and practiced various styles. Pushead has his own style, whose influences could be debated, but don't dominate stylistically. It seems like Blinko would consider the visual impact of different styles, and Pushead would go for the impact of the represented image as rendered in his style.

Steven said...

Blinko is definitely more artistic (studied or not, most of the great masters have studied art), and his subject matter is varied and maintains interest.

Pushead is more of an illustrator really, and his obsession with skulls gets tedious, for me anyway.

Blinko by a fair stretch.

Erik Del Tigre said...

The problem here is that Pushead makes better "80s Punk Art," but Blinko is the better artist. Since we're talking about punk art, the edge might go to Pushead. But fuck that, I vote for Blinko anyway.

cable_zombie said...

Pushead, easy. Nike shoes aside, his pictures are way better. (Except for a certain Metallica album I don't care to mention right now). I don't have time for that arty crap, I want skulls and chicks and chicks with skulls on.

Shelby Cobras said...

I wasn't going to bring up THAT album, cable zombie, but I'm glad someone did.

Helm said...

Blinko of course!

ironheel said...

While I can admire Pushead's talent and drive I just "feel" more from Blinko's work.
As an aside... he (Blinko) has a novel coming out being published by David Tibet's Durtro Press which looks to be very interesting.
His other written work is available on the internet, original copies of which are near impossible to find.

Shelby Cobras said...

I've got a copy of The Primal Screamer. It's pretty OK.

Peter said...

I vote Blinko

The Human Being Lawnmower said...

Blinko. I like the obsessive quality of his art, like he HAS to do it that way. Whether he does or not, it looks like he spends days working on each piece. Pushead's stuff is okay, but I find his style doesn't really surprise or interest me much. Also, it pisses me off that Septic Death stuff is impossible to find.

Rudimentary Peni were a better band, too, for similar reasons.

M. Arthur Douglas Daley said...

i'd go with blinko as well, even though i've only discovered both his art and rudimentary peni in the past couple of years. like a few folks have said, pushead certainly has the technical chops (and there's nothing wrong at all with his work being more "illustrative" than fine art), but his subject matter played itself out and became a tad too predictable. there's something really otherworldly about blinko's work and quite fitting with his mental state.

RyGar said...

My initial, honest reaction is to say Pushead. I was exposed to his work at an earlier age (7 or 8), through Zorlac ads and Misfits merch. Musically, Blinko wins, without a doubt, but we're talking about visual art. Shit. I feel like I'm going on the stand at my parents divorce. Blinko's work merits much longer consideration, for sure, as there are so many points of focus.

Jack For Jesus said...

Blinko, your pics don't really do justice to the insane complexity oy of his work. Pusshead is cool for eyecandy and everything, but Blino has way more depth and reward.

Daniel said...

Their both killer....Blinko is definetly out of his head...did't know Pushead did Nike shoes???? ah well the Stooges have a song in a Nike commercial...gotta pay the bills. Too much coffee.

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't compare Van Gogh with Francis Bacon.Pushead no doubt is an art giant and icon for me growing up with his art in skateboarding and punk rock. But he is a craftsman. A commercial artist. No shame in that I consider myself the same though I'd rather my "personal" work garner the attention that my forced (or necessary) work does. Pushead employs his tool of "perfection by repetition" to do what he does (and loves no doubt) were not talking lack of heart here. Blinko is also forced but it seems by torture and compulsion that his work comes to fruition. Two totally different things. Two totally different people with two totally different mindsets and intentions. Were all lucky to witness the spewage of both of these beasts but a comparison/competition is just not sensible. U.K Punk rock art or U.S. Skate rock art. Its like MLK Jr. Vs. Ghandi. C'mon lets vote on Gonz Vs. Templeton or maybe VCJ Vs. Pushead. Even better Raymond pettibon Vs. Pushead There is some decent conversation. By the way look for my new book coming out this spring. Its full of my stuff. Cheap. -Thee Butcher

metalliface said...

PUSHEAD, i have to agree with eveyone who said that blinkos looks like disturbed child did it, plus with his, i can't really tell whats going on in them, but with pushead, its more like "HOLY FUCK, THERE IT IS, RIGHT IN MY FACE!!!" un like 'wait, what am i looking for"and i also think blinkos crap looks boring, and many differing shades-of the same color, while pusheads look like a hippie crapped on a rainbow, stirred it around, and gave it to pushead saying it was paint. and being able to do good art, and not have to try, i think is amazing, and on the nike thing, he wanted to do something for an hour, you know, like when you're bored out of your mind and you find something to do, you do it!

Karl Bakla said...

It's hard for me to say but Blinko's stuff catches my eye for a bit longer because it is so bizarre that I can't help but look at it for a long time

Anonymous said...

are you all blind? Pusshead's is a very different style of art.It's not fair to compare the two as Pusshead's stuff makes Blinko's work look like a retards scribbles(just look at the material you uploaded).The only notable work i saw(by blinko) was the rudimentary peni cover- that was average at best.
This only is my opinion, but, as a "artist" myself, Pusshead's work is superior technically, visually,etc.As far as he being a sell out,i disagree ,we ALL have BILLS,need to eat,etc.because metallica used his work for album covers as many other bands of late 80's early 90's did,should say something to the talent and skill he possesses .That being said he is what he is ,very good at what he does either playing in bands or creating his art. he wins hands down

Anonymous said...

Pushead is by far better. Blinko im sure is still improving.