Best selling author, artist and unjustly convicted death row survivor Damien Echols joins new art collective.
If you’ve seen the nightmarish PARADISE LOST HBO documentaries or the Peter Jackson theatrical doc WEST OF MEMPHIS (or even the tepid Atom Egoyan feature DEVIL’S KNOT), you know the name Damien Echols.
Echols was one of the unfortunate “West Memphis Three“, a trio of West Memphis, Arkansas misfit kids who were unjustly imprisoned for two decades for a crime they did not commit.
Echols, then considered the ringleader for the so-called (and since dismissed) “satanic” triple homicide (Echols, then 18, was primarily scapegoated via a crooked justice system because he liked horror movies, read FANGORIA and listened to heavy metal), spent that time on death row until, after a media outcry following the release of the films and led by celebs like Jackson and Johnny Depp, the three boys – now men – were freed.
Almost immediately Echols began living the life so cruelly taken from him and fully, completely began devoting himself to art and writing (he’s a New York Times bestselling author) and speaking openly about his ordeal.
Now Echols, along with internationally acclaimed surrealist painter David Stoupakis and Gothic illustrator and musician menton3, have announced that they have united as artist collective called “The Hand” and will debut their first body of original work, Salem, at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, March 19, 2016.
Salem will include the last two remaining works from Echols time on death row: a disposable razor-crafted ancient Viking wood carving, and a bird figurine constructed from paper, soap, and paper clips.
Social awareness campaign, Magick Revolution, will launch the Salem witch trials-inspired art exhibition.
The campaign, which will be grounded in dynamic, free, and open-to-the-public experiences and offerings, will use art to advocate for Magick as a tool for healing. Echols credits Magick — the spiritual practice and art of transforming ones reality — for his survival behind bars and post-release.
Over the course of Magick Revolutions inaugural year, Echols will transform himself into a living work of art dedicated to Magick by tattooing self-designed protective symbols over his entire body.
’The Hand’ is committed to creating Magick-inspired art that showcases peace and beauty within the ashes of horror and tragedy. Salem holds deep meaning for David, Menton and me as a reminder that its possible for the tree of Magick to take root and flourish in the most hostile ground. When I was sent to prison everything was taken from me, so now I re-purpose things that are meaningful, for my body. Salem is as much about Magick as it is about art. I want to use art as a vehicle to reintroduce Magick and share the practices that saved my life.
To learnn more about Echols and ‘The Hand’ go to his official website.