Several years back I attempted to write about the work of painter Larry Carroll, known best for his two-decade collaboration with Slayer, painting every album cover from Reign In Blood to Christ Illusion. At the time, I could find little information about Carroll, and his work was only briefly covered in a piece I wrote for Swindle back in 2005.
Today, however, I discovered this 2007 interview with Carroll from Stylus Magazine, which talks about how elusive the painter is (i.e., it took Slayer a year to track him down to commission him to paint the cover for Christ Illusion) and provides insight on how he views the importance of strong/controversial imagery:
If the content is strong, why not have the image just as strong? I never wanted to shy away from that. I want to work for places like The Progressive. They would let you do whatever you want. Once there was an article on Nicaragua on the death squads who would come into town and rape all these women. So I did a drawing of a guy standing over this woman with this big dick sticking out, and the woman’s legs are spread, and he’s about to rape her. And they let me do that. I really respected that. It wasn’t gratuitous at all. It was just done for the reality of it. It wasn’t done for shock. If that’s shocking, then it should be.
So I did this for Nicaragua, and I do something for Slayer. Maybe a 15 year-old kid is listening to it. But I think they really have something interesting to say. You can try to create an image that can provoke something, get you to think about or question something. You don’t get a lot of opportunity in print to do that, unfortunately. So many people shy away from it. When you have an opportunity to do an image that is able to do something, that has some weight to it, then it’s interesting to me.
[Interview excerpt via Stylus Magazine]