We all come to grips with death in our own way. Personal loss has informed much of our favorite music, and last month a much more widely experienced sense of loss affected the heavy music community when Jeff Hanneman passed away. Artist Justin Bartlett's tribute to the late guitar hero came about as an online art project called South of Hanneman, as well as a series of t-shirts designed to celebrate Jeff's life and impact. The website itself is visually flashy, including a video and various web effects. Bartlett - whose work been featured front-and-center by Dragged Into Sunlight, Lord Mantis, and Decibel's own 2012 tour advertisements - enlisted the help of other artists to realize his vision for the sight. Mark Riddick is a longtime freelance illustrator whose work has been used by Coffins, Dying Fetus, and Suffocation, and he has designed an incredible "Angel of Death" shirt. Antichrist Kramer's paintings have graced albums by Inquisition and Vasaeleth, and the collage-style tee that he created is pretty amazing. Farron Loathing, poster master for our beloved Maryland Deathfest, loaded up a sweet serpent-n-flames design. London-based French spit up a great two-color "Altar of Sacrifice" design.
All proceeds from shirt sales will go toward charity, though the artists involved are still open to suggestions as to which charity Jeff would have been proud to benefit. We'll all come to grips in our own way, and Bartlett & company's approach give us lots more reasons to throw horns again.
Addendum: At the request of the artists, when Tweeting or Instagramming about the project please include "#southofhanneman". They will use this to try to keep track of the chatter that the project stirs up.
Also, I should probably mention that Justin told me, after reading the post, "I think I might be getting too much credit there! These two guys, Jeff (who did the video) and Andrew (concepts and organizing) came up with the idea - but I just made it bigger by asking the other artists."