“If you take the band Motörhead, you throw in a lot of Albrecht Dürer, a little bit of Frank Zappa and some R. Crumb, that’s me,” says artist Tom Huck. The St. Louis-based artist creates woodcuts full of political satire and scenes of wild mayhem.
While the figures of 1970s counterculture may feel like the closest touchstones for his imagery, Huck gives the lion’s share of credit to the Renaissance-era woodcut artist Dürer.
“Any print of Albrecht Dürer could have been an album cover for Iron Maiden,” he said. “There’s knights fighting dragons and devils and whores of Babylon and monsters, and all of that’s 13-year-old boy stuff!”
Which, conveniently, is the age Huck first encountered the artist, first on a family trip to Rome and then that same year at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Dürer’s dark imagery depicting life during the Bubonic Plague grabbed his imagination and sent him on a path to becoming a woodcut artist himself.
Huck’s work is on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory in an exhibition called “Rival Cuts,” which places his prints alongside works by Dürer. The artist is also in residence at Emory and will be leading a number of educational programs on the artform.